Karl R. Thompson

Karl R. Thompson is an American constitutional lawyer who was appointed to a position within the United States Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel by the Presidency of Barack Obama. In 2002/2003 he served as a Supreme Court law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He is the co-editor of It Is a Constitution We are Expounding. He was previously with the firm O’Melveny & Myers. In late 2009 the New York Post and the Washington Times started to criticize the Obama Presidency for its employment of lawyers who had help provide legal assistance to Guantanamo captives. At first the New York Post and the Washington Times only named two of the nine lawyers they were reporting had "aided terrorists". But March 2010 the other seven had been named, including Thompson. Thompson was one of nine lawyers whose appointment these commentators criticized. On March 9, 2010, Thompson's boss at O'Melveny & Myers, Walter Dellinger, described asking Thompson to aid Lieutenant Commander William Kuebler in preparing his defense for Canadian Guantanamo captive Omar Khadr. According to Dellinger Thompson's assistance on the Khadr case lasted several months, and was conducted in parallel with Thompson's prior duties with the firm. Lawyers and commentators from across the political spectrum came forward to defend Thompson and the other appointees who had been singled out for criticism. On May 24, 2010, Steven Edwards, writing for the Vancouver Sun, reported that the Canwest News Service had recently learned that there was internal controversy within the Obama administration over new rules for conducting Guantanamo military commissions. A new 281 page manual was prepared, to update the commissions to comply with changes following the passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2009. Edwards wrote that the change would have triggered dropping charges against a third of the Guantanamo captives the Prosecution planned to charge with murder. Edwards noted that persons from OLC sought an edit to get new rules. Edwards also noted that OLC employed two lawyers including Thompson, who had been dubbed members of the "Al Qaeda 7" because they had worked on behalf of terrorism suspects prior to joining the government. The article does not state, however, that Thompson played any role in this matter or any role in seeking these edits.

Personal facts

Given name
Karl R.
Family name
Thompson

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