Document Type


Publication Date



Every year the Solicitor General must decide, one case at a time, what the interests of the United States are with respect to several thousand different cases in the federal and state courts. Should the United States appeal, or seek rehearing, or petition for certiorari, or file a brief amicus curiae, or intervene? What issues should the United States raise, and what arguments should it make? How should the law be interpreted or the doctrine applied? The goal is for the United States to speak with one voice - a voice that reflects the interests of all three branches of government and of the people. How on earth is that done? It is a little like asking a millipede how it knows which foot to put first.

Publication Citation

79 N.C. L. Rev. 1073-1088 (2001)