We have an idea where much of the Republican legal elite will be watching tonight's presidential debate: at the Capitol Hill Club, where they'll already be gathered to toast former solicitor general Theodore Olson as the Republican Lawyer of the Year.
The Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partner is on the steering committee of Lawyers for McCain, and co-chairs candidate John McCain's Judicial Advisory Committee. Though he embraces McCain as the one candidate who will continue to appoint justices like John Roberts Jr. and Samuel Alito Jr., Olson has been something of a serial endorser during this campaign season, having held similar leadership positions in the campaigns of Rudolph Giuliani
and Mitt Romney earlier on.
“Ted Olson is truly one of the finest lawyers in America,” said Wiley Rein partner Richard Wiley, chair of the Republican National Lawyers Association, which is giving the award to Olson. “Ted devotes himself to justice and fairness both in and out of the courtroom. He is the best example of how lawyers can make a positive impact on this country and, because of his efforts, the RNLA is able to continue its fight for open and honest elections.”
Speaking at tonight's reception in Olson's honor will be former attorney general John Ashcroft, Gibson Dunn colleague William Kilberg, and McCain-Palin 2008 general counsel Trevor Potter. A special debate-watching party for attendees was added to the program at the last minute to make sure no one misses even a moment of the crucial confrontation.
CORRECTION: Ted Olson informs us we were incorrect in stating above that he once endorsed Mitt Romney. "The day Rudy, who is a close friend from the days of the Reagan Administration, withdrew from the race, I was contacted by Sen McCain, and gladly joined his team that very day," Olson said.