Miguel Estrada of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. HANDOUT.
Miguel Estrada of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. HANDOUT. ()

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partner Miguel Estrada on Wednesday knocked down suggestions that he was in the running to be the next U.S. solicitor general, citing “the deterioration of the confirmation process over the years.”

In a statement emailed to The National Law Journal, Estrada said, “I would never accept a job that requires Senate confirmation or, for that matter, willingly place myself in any situation (e.g., a hearing room) in which convention requires that I be civil to Chuck Schumer.” Estrada was responding to an NLJ article Tuesday describing him as a top candidate.

Associated Press reporter Mark Sherman also tweeted Wednesday that Estrada told him he “would never accept” a job requiring Senate confirmation.

Estrada’s sharp rebuke and reference to the Democratic New York senator stems from his experience after President George W. Bush nominated him in 2001 for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. After protracted delay, a contentious confirmation hearing, and a filibuster by Senate Democrats, Estrada withdrew his name in September 2003.

Several well-positioned Republican lawyers said privately in recent weeks that Estrada was a top possible nominee for the position as solicitor general. White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked last week specifically about Estrada, who served as an assistant solicitor general in the 1990s.

Estrada’s full statement: “I was immensely lucky to have the chance to serve our country years ago, but it did not work out. I have only respect and best wishes for those who agree to serve despite the deterioration of the confirmation process over the years, but everyone who knows me in this town knows that I would never accept a job that requires Senate confirmation or, for that matter, willingly place myself in any situation (e.g., a hearing room) in which convention requires that I be civil to Chuck Schumer.”

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