George T. Conway III

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George Conway
George Thomas Conway III

(1963-09-02) September 2, 1963 (age 56)
EducationHarvard University (BA)
Yale University (JD)
Political partyRepublican (Before 2018)
Independent (2018–present)
Kellyanne Conway (m. 2001)

George Thomas Conway III (born September 2, 1963) is an American attorney. Conway was on the short list of candidates considered by President Donald Trump for United States solicitor general prior to the nomination in March 2017 of Noel Francisco for that position. He was subsequently considered for assistant attorney general for the Civil Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. He is married to Kellyanne Conway, a political consultant who is a counselor to the president for Trump. During 2018, he emerged as a sharp critic of Trump.

Conway argued the 2010 case Morrison v. National Australia Bank before the U.S. Supreme Court; winning with a unanimous decision authored by Antonin Scalia.

Early life[edit]

George Conway’s father worked for defense contractor Raytheon. His mother was an organic chemist from the Philippines, making Conway half-Filipino.[1] He grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Marlborough High School in Massachusetts.[2] In 1984, Conway graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. degree magna cum laude in Biochemistry. In 1987, he obtained a J.D. degree from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal, and president of the school's chapter of the Federalist Society.[3][4]

Legal career[edit]

In 1987 and 1988, he served as a law clerk to Judge Ralph K. Winter, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In September 1988, Conway joined the law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and is of counsel in the Litigation Department.[5] His practice focuses on litigation involving securities, mergers and acquisitions, contracts, and antitrust.[5]

Conway was one of the lawyers who represented Paula Jones in her lawsuit against U.S. president Bill Clinton.[6][7] During the representation of Jones, he worked closely with Ann Coulter and Matt Drudge.[8] On March 29, 2010, Conway argued the securities case of Morrison v. National Australia Bank before the U.S. Supreme Court, and won with an 8–0 vote with an opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia.[9]

Conway had been considered a candidate for some U.S. Department of Justice posts. In January 2017, Conway was considered for the post of Solicitor General along with Gregory G. Katsas, prior to the post going to Noel Francisco.[10][11][12] On March 17, 2017, Conway was reported to be the nominee as assistant attorney general to head the Civil Division at the U.S. Department of Justice.[13][14][15] However, on June 2, 2017, he announced that he declined to pursue the post.[16][17] On November 16, 2018, Conway stated that a reason he did not join the Trump administration is because it is “like a shitshow in a dumpster fire.”[18]

On November 9, 2018, Conway and Neal Katyal wrote an op-ed in the New York Times challenging the Constitutionality of Trump's appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, to replace Jeff Sessions.[19][20] Trump used the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA) to appoint Whitaker, which allows the President to make interim appointments. US presidents nominate thousands of individuals to offices in executive and judicial branches of government—many of which have to be reviewed and approved by the Senate. The FVRA allows interim appointments, without first seeking Senate approval, under three limited conditions: an office-holder can be replaced by their "first assistant"; an office-holder can be replaced by someone the Senate approved for another appointment; an office-holder can be replaced by a senior Government worker, at the GS-15 level. Whitaker was not Sessions's "first assistant": that was Rod Rosenstein.[20] Conway and Katyal argued that it was a mistake to try to use the FVRA to override the explicit wording of the Constitution, which requires Senate approval of all appointees who answer directly to the president.[20]

In November 2018, Conway organized a group, "Checks and Balances," composed of more than a dozen members of the conservative-libertarian Federalist Society, which had been instrumental in selecting candidates for the Trump administration to appoint to federal courts. The New York Times reported the group is "urging their fellow conservatives to speak up about what they say are the Trump administration’s betrayals of bedrock legal norms," with group member John Bellinger stating "Conservative lawyers are not doing enough to protect constitutional principles that are being undermined by the statements and actions of this president."[21]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump. Introduced by Ann Coulter,[8] they have four children and live in Washington, D.C.[22] Conway previously dated conservative pundit Laura Ingraham.[23]

Conway's stated political positions are often contrary to those taken by his wife on behalf of the Trump administration.[24][25] His legal interpretations of the actions of Trump differ at times.[26] He is known to be critical of Trump on a personal level as well.[27] Trump in March 2019 responded to Conway's attacks, describing Conway as a "stone cold LOSER & husband from hell". Conway's wife Kellyanne defended her boss, Trump, as Conway is "not a psychiatrist" and that Trump should be expected to respond when Conway, "a non-medical professional accuses him of having a mental disorder".[28]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Conway, George; Katyal, Neal K. (November 8, 2018). "Trump's Appointment of the Acting Attorney General Is Unconstitutional". Opinion. The New York Times.
  • Conway, George T., III; Savarese, John F (July 1, 2013). "The Impact of 'Kiobel' Curtailing the Extraterritorial Scope of the Alien Tort Statute" (PDF). Wall Street Lawyer. 17 (7): 3–10.
  • Conway, George; Ku, Julian (July 4, 2013). "When Corporate Defendants Go on Offense" (PDF). The Wall Street Journal. p. A11.
  • Conway, George (June 11, 2018). "Executive Power: The Terrible Arguments Against the Constitutionality of the Mueller Investigation". Lawfare. Published by the Lawfare Institute in cooperation with the Brookings Institution.


  1. ^ "FilAms Greet Potential Trump Pick for Solicitor General With Surprise, Skepticism". Manila Mail. Media Manila, Inc. January 12, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  2. ^ Lat, David. "A Closer Look At George Conway, Wachtell Lipton Partner And Husband Of Kellyanne Conway". Above the Law. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  3. ^ Lat, David (January 4, 2017). "An Exciting New Entrant In The Solicitor General Sweepstakes". Above the Law. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  4. ^ "Masthead, Vol 96(4)". Yale Law Journal. March 1987. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "George T. Conway bio". Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  6. ^ Van Natta Jr., Don; Abramson, Jill (January 24, 1999). "Quietly, Team of Lawyers Who Disliked Clinton Kept Jones Case Alive". New York Times. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  7. ^ Senator Harkin (IA) (February 12, 1999). "Trial of William Jefferson Clinton". The Congressional Record. 145 (26): 106th Congress, 1st Session, Senate. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Terris, Ben (May 13, 2017). "George Conway is the man at the center of everything". Washington Post. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  9. ^ Morrison v. National Australia Bank (2010). SCOTUSblog. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  10. ^ Diamond, Jeremy (December 31, 2016). "Kellyanne Conway's husband on short list for top US lawyer job". CNN. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  11. ^ Mauro, Tony (January 3, 2017). "SCOTUS Bar Warms Up to Wachtell Lawyer as Possible Trump SG". National Law Journal. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  12. ^ Passarella, Gina (January 1, 2017). "Wachtell's George Conway a Potential Trump Pick for Solicitor General". New York Law Journal. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  13. ^ Berenson, Tessa (March 17, 2017). "Kellyanne Conway's Husband to Be Nominated to Department of Justice Post". Time. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  14. ^ Sharman, Jon (March 17, 2017). "Kellyanne Conway's husband George 'set for top job at Justice Department'". The Independent (UK). Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  15. ^ Goldmacher, Shane (March 17, 2017). "Kellyanne Conway's husband emerges as front-runner to head DOJ's civil division". Politico. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  16. ^ McCaskill, Nolan D. (June 2, 2017). "Kellyanne Conway's husband bows out of DOJ post". Politico. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  17. ^ Davis, Julie Hirschfeld (June 2, 2017). "Husband of Kellyanne Conway Steps Back From Possible Justice Dept. Post". New York Times. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  18. ^ "The Trump administration is a "shitshow in a dumpster fire," says George Conway". November 16, 2018. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
  19. ^ Neal K. Katyal, George T. Conway III (November 8, 2018). "Trump's Appointment of the Acting Attorney General Is Unconstitutional". The New York Times. p. A31. Retrieved November 11, 2018. For the president to install Mr. Whitaker as our chief law enforcement officer is to betray the entire structure of our charter document.
  20. ^ a b c Andrew Rudalevige (November 10, 2018). "No one is surprised that Jeff Sessions is out. But is his replacement's appointment unconstitutional?". Washington Post. Retrieved November 10, 2018. But Conway’s pedigree is quite different. While he has recently become a public critic of Trump, in the 1990s Conway helped with the Paula Jones case that helped lead to Bill Clinton’s impeachment; he is married to high-ranking Trump staffer Kellyanne Conway; and he was seriously considered for the role of Trump’s solicitor general.
  21. ^ "Conservative Lawyers Say Trump Has Undermined the Rule of Law". Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  22. ^ Schaefer, Mari A. (February 13, 2017). "Meet Kellyanne Conway's husband". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  23. ^ Conason, Joe; Lyons, Gene (March 4, 2000). "Impeachment's little elves". Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  24. ^ "Kellyanne Conway's husband defends Mueller's investigation". June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  25. ^ "Kellyanne Conway's husband reportedly gives anti-Trump writers suggestions on how to improve their arguments". May 25, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  26. ^ Wagner, John, Trump’s installation of acting AG was unconstitutional, argues husband of Kellyanne Conway, The Washington Post, November 8, 2018
  27. ^ Bowden, John (September 15, 2018). "George Conway rips Trump over tweet about Obama's '57 states' gaffe". The Hill. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  28. ^ Lippman, Daniel. "Kellyanne Conway defends Trump after he attacked her husband". Politico. Retrieved March 22, 2019.

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