Boehner Names Next House General Counsel

Posted January 3, 2011 at 7:46pm

Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Monday that he will promote House Deputy General Counsel Kerry Kircher to the legal office’s top role when the GOP takes over the chamber this week.

Kircher will replace General Counsel Irvin Nathan, who was appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in 2007. Nathan announced his retirement last month.

The general counsel’s office represents House Members and employees in legal disputes. Kircher joined as a senior assistant counsel in 1995 and rose to deputy general counsel the next year.

“He has been a stalwart defender of the prerogatives and precedents of the House, and there is no individual I know who is more ready or more qualified for the job,” Boehner said in a statement. “The institution and the Members who serve it deserve continuity and professionalism in the offices that serve the House. As is the case with all of the individuals who have agreed to serve in these key posts, Kerry more than fulfills those needs.”

Kircher has carved out a nonpartisan record: Among his most notable cases was a bipartisan Congressional challenge to the constitutionality of the Justice Department’s raid of the home of then-Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) during George W. Bush’s administration.

Kircher, a native of Iowa, graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981. After clerking for a U.S. District Court judge, he worked as a trial and appellate litigator for private law firms for eight years, starting in 1984. He then worked as a senior trial attorney at the Office of Thrift Supervision from 1992 until joining the House general counsel’s office.