Charles J. Cooper

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Chuck Cooper
Personal details
Born 1955 (age 61–62)
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
Political party Republican
Education University of Alabama,
(BA, JD)

Charles J. "Chuck" Cooper (born 1955) is an appellate attorney and litigator in Washington, D.C., where he is a founding member and chairman of the law firm Cooper & Kirk, PLLC. He was named by The National Law Journal as one of the 10 best civil litigators in Washington.[citation needed]

Cooper has more than 25 years of legal experience in government and private practice, with numerous cases in trial and appellate court. He has argued several cases before the United States Supreme Court.


Charles J. Cooper was born in 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama. He attended local schools and received his B.A. business degree in 1974 from the University of Alabama.

Cooper received his J.D. degree in 1977 from the University of Alabama Law School. He was editor-in-chief of the Alabama Law Review and ranked first in his class. He passed the bar in Alabama and Washington, DC. He had two clerkships with judges. From 1977 to 1978, Cooper clerked for Judge Paul Roney of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. From 1978 to 1979, Cooper clerked for Justice William H. Rehnquist of the United States Supreme Court.

A member of the Republican Party, Cooper started working in 1981 in the Office of Civil Rights in Washington, DC. In 1985 he was appointed as an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel, United States Department of Justice during the Reagan administration. At a lunch at the Old Ebbitt Grill with other administration officials, he saw documents showing the administration's role in the Iran–Contra affair of 1986.[1]

After his government service, he entered private practice in the office of McGuire Woods, working there from 1990 until co-founding Cooper & Kirk in 1996. His practice in concentrated in constitutional, commercial, and civil rights litigation.

Cooper led the legal team for the defendant-intervenors in Hollingsworth v. Perry, defending California Proposition 8 in 2008, which banned same-sex marriage in the state. He argued this case before the US Supreme Court.[2]

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