Peter Keisler

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Peter Keisler is a U.S. appellate attorney and partner in the firm of Sidley Austin. During the George W. Bush Administration, he had been Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, and Acting Attorney General until Michael Mukasey was confirmed. President Bush nominated him as a Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, but the confirmation never went to the Senate floor.

He was nominated for a judgeship in June 2006, and recommended as "well qualified" by the American Bar Association. The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times endorsed him. Jack Goldsmith said “Peter would be an outstanding judge.… Peter is a person of extraordinary integrity. Behind closed doors, when it counted, Peter displayed a principled commitment to getting the law right.… I do not know anyone who is better suited to be a judge.”" [1]

When President Barack Obama declassified a large number of papers for Ronald Reagan's Presidential Library, there were 54,000 pages from Keisler's time as a White House Counsel. There was speculation that Keisler, who was a founder of the Federalist Society and clerked for Robert Bork, was a potential Supreme Court nominee. [2]

In March 2010, he opposed the Keep America Safe "al-Qaeda Seven" ad, along with a group of legal authorities including conservatives. [3]


  1. Ed Whelan (8 April 2008), "The Case for Keisler", National Review
  2. Josh Gerstein (14 April 2009), "Reagan Library opens files on possible GOP SCOTUS nominee", Politico
  3. Ben Smith (8 March 2010), "Republicans scold Liz Cheney", Politico