By: Denise Simon | Founders Code
You may remember Bob Bauer when he was a trusted Obama White House lawyer… and, oh yeah, he is married to Anita Dunn, famous for including in a speech that 2 of her most favorite people were Mother Teresa and Mao Zedong. Yeah, great couple right?
Mr. and Mrs.
It should also be noted that Anita Dunn was a top Biden campaign advisor.
Bauer is Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at NYU Law, and Co-Director of NYU’s Legislative and Regulatory Process Clinic. He served as White House Counsel to President Obama and returned to private practice in June 2011. In 2013, the president named Bauer to be Co-Chair of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, which in January of 2014 submitted to the president its findings and recommendations in “The American Voting Experience: Report and Recommendations of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration.”
Bauer was General Counsel to Obama for America, the president’s campaign organization, in 2008 and 2012. Bob has also served as co-counsel to the New Hampshire State Senate in the trial of Chief Justice David A. Brock (2000) and counsel to the Democratic Leader in the trial of President William Jefferson Clinton (1999).
He is the author of books on campaign finance law and articles on various topics for law reviews and periodicals. He is a contributing editor of Lawfare and writes legal commentary for Just Security, and has published opinion pieces in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and other publications.
In part: Among those who will be on the commission are Cristina Rodríguez, a professor at Yale Law School and a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Obama Department of Justice, who will join Bauer as co-chair. Caroline Fredrickson, the former president of the American Constitution Society, and Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor, and a former assistant attorney general in the Bush Department of Justice, will also serve on the commission, those familiar with discussions said.
Fredrickson has hinted that she is intellectually supportive of ideas like court expansion. In 2019, she said in an interview with Eric Lesh, the executive director of the LGBT Bar Association and Foundation of Greater New York: “I often point out to people who aren’t lawyers that the Supreme Court is not defined as ‘nine-person body’ in the Constitution, and it has changed size many times.”
Rodríguez’s opinions on court reforms are less clear. Goldsmith’s selection, meanwhile, is likely to be the one to frustrate progressives. A senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Goldsmith did not support Trump and is a friend and co-author of Bauer. But he was a vocal advocate of Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the high court — an appointment that sparked Democratic advocacy for expanding the number of Supreme Court seats.
“He will also be an influential figure within the Supreme Court building,” Goldsmith wrote in 2018 about Kavanaugh in a Time article titled, “Brett Kavanaugh Will Right the Course of the Supreme Court.” “He is a brilliant analyst with a deep scholarly and practical knowledge of the law. His legal opinions are unusually accessible. He is a magnanimous soul.”
Bauer, who is not planning to go into the administration full-time, is himself a proponent of term limits for federal judges. He has been helping with the creation of the commission and, according to a person familiar with the deliberations, initially proposed the idea of forming a commission to study the issue of court reform.