Newly elected Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has chosen a new top legal officer for the U.S. House of Representatives, promoting a lawyer who had been second-in-command.
Kerry Kircher is taking on the role of House general counsel after having served as deputy general counsel. The job has little to do with the House’s day-to-day task — making laws — but is responsible for representing members, staff and the House itself in many legal proceedings. Among other duties, the office responds to requests for information from prosecutors. (Click here for an example.)
Kircher will succeed Irvin Nathan, a former Arnold & Porter partner and an appointee of then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Nathan is leaving the House and is being nominated for the District of Columbia’s new attorney general.
Unlike Nathan, who came from a litigation-heavy background, Kircher has lengthy experience in the House general counsel’s office already. He first joined in 1995 and has been deputy since 1996, according to Boehner’s office. He’s a graduate of Michigan Law School.
“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. I’m grateful for his willingness to serve,” Boehner said in a prepared 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 did not immediately return a call requesting comment today. His appointment was previously reported by Roll Call.