One of those nine Scalia children (all are grown) is President Bush’s choice to be a top lawyer at the Labor Department, the White House announced last week.

Eugene Scalia is a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the same Washington law firm that represented Bush when his postelection legal fight came to the Supreme Court.

Scalia, a labor and employment specialist, has said he did not work on the case. Under Supreme Court ethics rules he got no share of the firm’s profits from fellow partner Theodore Olson’s courtroom work.

Olson is Bush’s choice to be the administration’s lead Supreme Court lawyer.

Gibson, Dunn’s lengthy Republican credentials include work for Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. Former independent counsel Kenneth Starr was also a partner there.

The apple did not fall far from the Scalia tree. Scalia the son is also outspoken and ideologically conservative.

Writing last year for the libertarian Cato Institute, Eugene Scalia called proposed Occupational Safety and Health Administration workplace-safety rules “the most costly and intrusive regulation in (the agency’s) history.”

The rules were adopted under the Clinton administration but scrapped by Bush.

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Speaking of lawyers with Bush connections, the GOP legal quarterback during the Florida postelection court fight made a recent appearance at the Supreme Court, where the election case was ultimately decided.

Barry Richard gave a talk titled “Reflections on the Case of a Lifetime” to members of the American Bankruptcy Institute.

The group rented the court’s ceremonial Great Hall with permission from Rehnquist. Rehnquist agreed to let the group use the space long before Richard was chosen as the speaker, said ABI spokeswoman Pamela Shepherd.

“It was the same speech I have given six or seven times since the case,” Richard said afterward.

Richard said he saw nothing unusual in the venue for his speech to the bankruptcy group, which has used the same room for previous events. He was not paid to speak, Richard said.

None of the nine justices was on hand to hear Richard recap the legal strategizing that led up to the high court’s Dec. 12 decision. Reporters were not allowed inside, but Richard said he identified four key moments that turned the tide for Bush.

He mentioned the Supreme Court’s role but focused on the Florida litigation, Richard said. Richard helped prepare legal papers for the high court portion of the case, but did not appear in court.

Rehnquist, Scalia and Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas voted to stop Florida ballot recounts, effectively ending Democrat Al Gore’s challenge.

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