President Trump's nominee to be the number three official at the Justice Department has been involved in some of the highest-profile legal battles of the last few years, including a victory against the Obama administration when it tried to load up the National Labor Relations Board without consent from the Senate.
Noel J. Francisco is Trump's pick to be the next solicitor general, and will go before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Francisco first joined the federal government in 2001 when he became an associate counsel to President George W. Bush. Within two years, he became the Deputy Assistant Attorney General. In 2005, he moved to the private sector to work at Jones Day, the largest law firm in the United States and one of the 10 largest firms in the world.
While at Jones Day, he appeared before the Supreme Court several times.
In 2016, for example, he represented former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell in his corruption case. Francisco won McDonnell's appeal of his conviction of public corruption offenses.
Francisco also fought the Obama administration's contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court that same year.
In Zubik v. Burwell, Francisco argued that religious institutions other than churches — such as the Little Sisters of the Poor — should be exempt from being required to cover certain contraceptives for their female employees. That case was eventually given back to the lower courts.
Francisco scored a major victory against the Obama administration in a battle over recess appointments.
In early 2014, Former President Barack Obama appointed three appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and another to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after declaring the Senate in recess. Bottling company Noel Canning sued the NLRB, arguing the board's new members were illegally appointed.
Francisco eventually won a unanimous 9-0 opinion from the Supreme Court that Obama's appointments to the NLRB were illegal, because the Senate, not the president, gets to determine when it is in recess.
Francisco, who attended the University of Chicago Law School and clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia, has been serving as active solicitor general since January.
The solicitor general is often referred to as the "10th justice," as the individual determines the legal position the U.S. will take in the Supreme Court.