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katnas

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: Don McGahn, general counsel for the Trump transition team, gets into an elevator in the lobby at Trump Tower, November 15, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump is in the process of choosing his presidential cabinet as he transitions from a candidate to the president-elect. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By Drew Angerer


Gregory Katsas '86 was named Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel to the President. He will serve in these posts from the White House Counsel's office.

Katsas will report to White House Counsel Donald McGahn II, where he will advise President Donald Trump on all legal issues concerning the President and his administration.

Prior to joining the White House Counsel's office, Katsas served as a partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm Jones Day. At Jones Day, Katsas worked on cases involving administrative law, employment discrimination, international law, and products liability. He has argued more than 75 cases before appellate courts in the United States, and has argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Most notably, Katsas was involved in the 2012 case National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, which challenged the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate that allowed the U.S. Congress to force people to buy health insurance. Katsas argued that "the Anti-Injunction Act does not bar the Court from hearing a challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's individual mandate requiring the purchase of health insurance." The case was eventually decided 5-4 in favor the administration.

Katsas also served from 2001 to 2009 in the U.S. Department of Justice. He served as Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division and the Acting Associate Attorney General. At the Justice Department, Katsas "handled or supervised most of the Federal Government’s leading civil appeals," according to the Federalist Society, and oversaw enforcements of the False Claims Act and the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. He also handled cases involving enemy combat detainees at Guantánamo Bay, the applicability of the state secrets privilege involving clandestine CIA activities, and "the constitutionality of federal statutes on subjects ranging from the Pledge of Allegiance to partial-birth abortion."

In 2009, Katsas received the Edmund Randolph Award for outstanding service, which is the highest award that anyone can receive at the Justice Department. Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey described Katsas as "widely regarded as one of the Justice Department's most outstanding civil and appellate attorneys."

Katsas clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Judge Edward Becker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He graduated from Harvard Law School, where he was the executive editor of the Harvard Law Review. He is also currently a member of the Federalist Society.

At the University, Katsas majored in Philosophy, and his senior thesis was titled "Proper Names and Descriptive Senses."

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