The solicitor general, the fourth-ranked official in the Justice Department, is known as the 10th justice because of the position’s influence at the high court. Congress established the office in 1870 to help the federal government speak with a single voice in the courtroom. The solicitor general is also a counselor to the justices. At least 10 times a year, they seek the office’s advice on a pending appeal, asking whether consideration of the case would promote clarity in the law.
In return, the court affords the two dozen lawyers in the office special privileges, granting virtually every request for argument time. Over the past half century, the office has won three-quarters of its high court cases.
tax practice, retired lawyer
· 10 years ago