Drew S. Days, III

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Drew Saunders Days III
Drew S. Days, III.jpg
40th Solicitor General of the United States
In office
May, 1993 – July, 1996
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Kenneth Starr
Succeeded by Walter E. Dellinger III (Acting)
Assistant United States Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division
In office
President Jimmy Carter
Personal details
Born (1941-08-29) August 29, 1941 (age 73)
Atlanta, Georgia
Political party Democratic

Drew Saunders Days III (born August 29, 1941)[1] is an American lawyer, who served as United States Solicitor General from 1993 to 1996 under President Bill Clinton. He also served as the first African American Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division in the Carter Administration from 1977 to 1980.[2] He is the Alfred M. Rankin Professor of Law at Yale Law School, assuming that post in 1992, and joining the Yale Law faculty in 1981.[3] Since 1997, he has also headed the Supreme Court and appellate practice at Morrison & Foerster LLP and was of counsel at the firm's Washington, D.C. office until his retirement from the firm in December, 2011.[4] He earned his law degree at Yale Law School in 1966.[5] He has been admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, and in the states of Illinois and New York.[6]

Education and early career[edit]

He graduated from New Rochelle High School in New Rochelle, New York, before going on to earn an undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, and a law degree from Yale Law School. Upon graduation from law school, he briefly practiced law in Chicago, Illinois, before becoming a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras.

Returning to the United States in 1969, he became first assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in New York City. Days worked at LDF for eight years litigating a range of civil rights cases.[6]

Appointments and professorship[edit]

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter nominated him to serve as the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the United States Department of Justice. His tenure was marked by an aggressive enforcement of the nation’s civil rights laws.[6]

Mr. Days served in the Department of Justice until 1981 when he joined the faculty of the Yale Law School. In 1988 he founded the Orville H. Schell Jr. Center for Human Rights at Yale Law School and served as its director until 1993.[3]

In 1993 he was nominated by President Clinton to serve as Solicitor General in the Department of Justice. In that position, he was responsible for representing the positions and interests of the United States in arguments before the Supreme Court.[3] Shortly after his appointment, he argued to the Supreme Court that the lower court's decision in Knox v. United States was wrong, even though it had found in favor of the government. He urged the Supreme Court to vacate Knox's conviction for possession of child pornography; they remanded the case to Circuit Court.[7]

Private practice and alumni work[edit]

After leaving the Clinton administration, he returned to Yale Law School and private practice. Days currently continues to be involved in national and international efforts to resolve social and economic issues—including Hurricane Katrina, poverty alleviation, the environment, and juvenile justice.[6]

Days also serves as a trustee at Hamilton College. In 2011, Hamilton opened the Days-Massolo Center[8] with the goal of promoting diversity awareness and fostering dialogue among the wide variety of cultures represented on campus.[9] The center is dedicated to Days and fellow Hamilton trustee Arthur J. Massolo.[10]


External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Kenneth Starr
Solicitor General of the United States
Succeeded by
Walter E. Dellinger III