Theodore B. Olson is a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Washington, D.C., office and a founder of the firm’s Crisis Management, Sports Law, and Appellate and Constitutional Law practice groups. He served as solicitor general of the United States from 2001-2004 and assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice from 1981-1984.
He has made 65 Supreme Court arguments, including cases involving separation of powers; federalism; voting rights; the First Amendment; the equal protection and due process clauses; jury trial rights; patents, copyrights and antitrust; the commerce clause; taxation; property rights; administrative law; punitive damages; foreign sovereign immunities; immigration; criminal law; sports wagering; securities; rights of terrorism victims; telecommunications; the environment; the internet; the supremacy clause; the 2000 presidential election (Bush v. Gore); campaign finance (McConnell v. FCC and Citizens United); same-sex marriage (Hollingsworth v. Perry), and the legality of a presidential rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).
Olson is a member of the board of trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation; the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Foundation; the board of visitors of the Federalist Society; the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships; the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States; the board of directors of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University; and (formerly) the President’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. In 2010, he was selected by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential persons in the world.
He is a two-time recipient of the Department of Justice’s Edmund J. Randolph Award, and has received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service and American Bar Association Medal.
Olson co-authored Redeeming the Dream, the Case for Marriage Equality with David Boies. Both were featured in HBO’s award-winning documentary, “The Case Against 8.”
Writings & Appearances
What Is America’s Spy Court Hiding From the Public?
Unnecessary secrecy about government surveillance is bad for the intelligence agencies, the spy court, and our democracy