In Memoriam: Walter E. Dellinger III



In Memoriam: Walter E. Dellinger III

Walter E. Dellinger III died on February 16. He was 80 years old.

He was a partner at O’Melveny and Douglas B. Maggs Professor Emeritus of Law at Duke Law School. He served as Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the Office of Legal Counsel during the Clinton administration. He served as Acting Solicitor General during the 1996-97 term of the Supreme Court, where his arguments included cases involving physician-assisted suicide, the individual veto, the Cable Television Act, the Brady Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the constitutionality of remedies. services for children in parish schools.

Dellinger was elected to the American Law Institute in 2013. In March 2021, he was a guest at the reasonably speaking “Challenges to the 2020 Election: the Solicitors’ Perspective” podcast episode. In the episode, he joined former Solicitors General Donald B. Verrilli and Seth P. Waxman in a discussion on the topic of election litigation.

Excerpt from the O’Melveny tribute:

Walter lived a wonderful and extraordinary life. As his son Hampton said, “He had many loves, first his wife, Anne, but also the University of North Carolina, law and the rule of law, and American democracy.” Anne was Walter’s soul mate: they had been married for about 55 years and he told us several times that his greatest accomplishment was to have married her.

Walter was extremely generous and caring – he enjoyed helping others succeed. So many people owe him so much. There is a remarkably long list of lawyers in academia, government, business, law firms, nonprofits, and the bench that Walter has helped find their footing. While mentoring dozens of young lawyers, including many great American jurists, he also took the time to speak out on many of the most pressing issues facing our society. We recall Walter’s central role as author of the amicus brief in Hollingsworth v. Perry, who paved the way for marriage equality in California and eventually around the world.

Additional obituaries are available on the New York Times and Washington Post websites. [subscription required].


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