Undeniably, Theodore Olson has moved on from the horror of Sept. 11, 2001.

Early that day — his 61st birthday — his wife, Barbara, left their McLean, Va., house for Dulles International Airport to board American Airlines flight 77, bound for Los Angeles. Olson, then the solicitor general, headed to his Justice Department office. Not long after, Olson’s longtime aide, Helen Voss, burst in to tell him that Barbara was on the phone, sounding panicked. Her plane had been hijacked, Barbara told him. What should she tell the pilot to do? The plane rammed into the Pentagon, and she was gone. Olson’s wife, a well-known conservative commentator, was one of the best-known victims of the terrorist attacks.

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