Miguel Estrada: Justice lost key cases because Obama is a 'crazy client'

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Barack Obama,Justice Department

The Justice Department had a losing average before the Supreme Court in the just-finished term because it was pushed to defend weak positions by a "crazy client," one-time U.S. Court of Appeals nominee Miguel Estrada said Monday.

Summing up the term at a Federalist Society luncheon, Estrada, an assistant to the U.S. solicitor general from 1992-1997, slammed his former office for taking poor cases. "The office," he said, "did not do very well at the Supreme Court this year."

Estrada, whose argued more than 20 cases before the Supreme Court, said the solicitor general's office had a 12 win-15 loss record in cases they were a party in, giving it a 44 percent victory record. Among the notable losses was in the court's gutting of the administration backed Voting Rights Act.

"They would have done better if they had picked their arguments by lot or by coin toss," Estrada joked.

Estrada, however, didn't blame the lawyers in the solicitor general's office. "They have really good lawyers." Instead he blamed the "wackiness" of the administration and President Obama in pushing Justice into bad cases.

"If you have a crazy client that insists that you make crazy arguments and you go along you are going to lose," Estrada told the crowd.

Estrada was selected by former President George W. Bush to be a U.S. Appeals judge, but Democrats blocked the conservative's nomination and he withdrew.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.