February 20, 2024

Who is Jonathan Mitchell? The conservative attorney arguing for Trump at Supreme Court

Jonathan Mitchell, a well known conservative lawyer, led arguments on behalf of Donald Trump at the Supreme Court on 8 February – as the previous president seeks to persuade the nation’s highest courtroom to strike down a ruling that has kicked him off Colorado’s presidential primary ballot.

Mr Mitchell, 47, is a legislation professor, authorized theorist and the previous solicitor common of Texas identified for discovering loopholes to aggressively litigate in favour of his purchasers – typically with conservative agendas.

He has submitted greater than 20 amicus briefs to the Supreme Court, notably advocating for overturning Roe v Wade and urging them to declare affirmative action as unlawful. He’s additionally argued 5 instances earlier than the justices.

But Mr Mitchell is most well-known for serving to develop Texas’s strict anti-abortion legislation, SB 8. Specifically, he devised the “novel enforcement mechanism” that allows personal residents to deliver personal lawsuits in opposition to those that violate the statute quite than in opposition to authorities officers.

Now, Mr Mitchell is tasked with defending the former president against challenges to his ballot eligibility in Colorado.

In December, the Colorado Supreme Court eliminated Mr Trump from its major poll as a consequence of his alleged involvement within the January 6 assault on the Capitol.

On 8 February, the Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments within the case of Trump v Anderson.

Mr Mitchell, a University of Chicago Law School graduate, argued on behalf of Mr Trump saying the previous president was not concerned in an rebel and that, even when he was, the state doesn’t have the authority to take away him – solely Congress can.

The conservative lawyer is identified for his intelligence and quick-thinking to find methods to litigate for his purchasers. He instructed  POLITICO his aim in authorized follow is to undercut the notion that the Supreme Court is the final word authoritative interpreter of the Constitution.

Mr Mitchell instructed NPR that it was his clerkship for the late justice Antonin Scalia that made him skeptical of the courtroom. He mentioned witnessing his “more politicised and more results-oriented” decision-making made him of the establishment.

That motivation is simple to see, particularly in his work and arguments. Regarding SB 8, Mr Mitchell intentionally sought to make a bit of anti-abortion laws that may keep away from judicial interference as an entire.

“I don’t think people realised there were ways in which you could draft a statute that circumvents that entire process. It took a little bit of outside-the-box thinking,” Mr Mitchell told NPR.

It was that implementation of complex legal theories that led Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to call the piece of legislation “a breathtaking act of defiance” of the Constitution, Supreme Court precedents and Texas women’s rights.


Undoubtedly, Mr Mitchell’s impressive legal workarounds are what has made his career successful.

He clerked for J Michael Luttig, the former circuit judge for the Fourth Court of Appeals. Ironically, Mr Luttig is an outspoken proponent of removing Mr Trump from ballots by invoking Section Three of the 14th Amendment.

In 2010, then-Texas attorney common Greg Abbott appointed Mr Mitchell to Texas Solicitor General.

In 2017, Mr Trump nominated Mr Mitchell for chair of the Administrative Conference of the US (ACUS). However, a vote by no means made it to the Senate flooring.

Mr Mitchell then opened his personal legislation agency in 2018.