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Two Former Bush Solicitors General May Argue In NFL Appeal

There could be two former Bush solicitors general arguing against each other when the NFL appeals its lockout loss to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Theodore Olson, Solicitor General of the U.S. from '01-04, yesterday filed a notice of appearance with the Appeals court on behalf of the Brady class of players. Already, Paul Clement, who succeeded Olson as solicitor general, is set to argue the NFL’s appeal of its loss in district court in Minnesota. U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson ruled for the players and enjoined the league’s lockout.

It looks as if Clement’s predecessor may be his opponent, though Olson’s filing did not specifically say whether he would make the oral case himself. Olson’s firm, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, referred a direct e-mail to Olson about his role to the NFLPA. The NFLPA could not immediately be reached for comment. The NFL appeal is docketed at the 8th Circuit, which has not yet released a briefing or hearing schedule.

There are other strange coincidences about the assignment. Olson worked with David Boies to challenge California’s law blocking gay marriage. Boies argued the NFL’s case at the district court level. The two men famously squared off against one another in '00 in Bush v Gore. And meanwhile, Clement earlier this week resigned from his firm because it backed out of representing the House of Representatives in defending the Defense of Marriage Act, which allows states to recognize gay marriages conducted in other states.
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