President Donald Trump nominated conservative lawyer William Barr to the position of attorney general Friday.
Trump praised him as “one of the most respected jurists in the country,” and said Barr was his “first choice from Day One,” according to the Daily Beast. Barr, who also served under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, would succeed former AG Jeff Sessions.
His confirmation seems likely in the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate, though Democrats almost certainly will attack Barr’s opposition to Roe v. Wade.
Fox News reports Barr said he did not agree with the infamous abortion case during his Senate confirmation hearing in 1991.
He said he thought Roe was wrongly decided, and abortion laws should be left up to the states, the LA Times reported at the time. Barr also said he does not think the right to privacy “extends to abortion.”
The Daily Beast described Barr as “a conservative Republican known for a Reagan-esque tone and worldview.”
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Pro-life conservative leader Gary Bauer agreed. The two have known each other since Barr worked for Reagan.
“He’s known for having a very dry sense of humor and unless you realize that, you might do a double take until you realize he’s joking with you,” Bauer said. “He’s a really good, nice guy the kind of guy that most people would enjoy spending time around.”
Pro-life U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina, also expressed hope about Barr.
“I think he’d be an outstanding choice and is highly capable and highly respected, and should be easily confirmable,” Graham said. “However, I know the president has many good choices and I will do everything I can to support his nominee if I’m chairman of the Judiciary Committee. And the sooner we can start the process, the better.”
ABA Journal reports Barr grew up in New York City and worked for the CIA while attending law school at night. Barr worked for Verizon after he left the Bush administration. He currently works at the international law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He has a wife and three daughters, and is an avid musician who plays the bagpipes.