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The talented Mr. Perez


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the-talented-mr-perez.phpPower Line:

Scott Johnson



The Wall Street Journal has devoted an excellent reported editorial to Thomas Perez, Obama’s nominee to head the Department of Labor. The editorial is tightly focused on the lengths to which Perez went to induce the City of St. Paul into withdrawing its appeal of the fair housing lawsuit that raised the viability of claims based on disparate impact. The City of St. Paul’s petition for Supreme Court review had been granted and the appeal was scheduled for hearing when the St. Paul withdrew the appeal. What happened and why? Paul Mirengoff wrote at length about the underlying shenanigans here.


Perez was key to the inducements offered to St. Paul to withdraw the appeal on the federal side. Among the protagonists on the other side of the case apart from St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman is Fredrikson & Byron attorney David Lillehaug, a friend of mine who declined to comment for the Journal editorial. Among other local attorneys who appear in the editorial are David’s partner, Tom Fraser, the son of the former Fifth District Congressman/Minneapolis Mayor Don Fraser, and former Vice President Walter Mondale, who is now Senior Counsel at Dorsey & Whitney in Minneapolis.


The Journal editorial reports that Mondale weighed in at a key point with Mayor Coleman, brother of the obnoxious former Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman, on behalf of the proposition that St. Paul should withdraw its Supreme Court appeal. David Lillehaug is a former executive assistant to Walter Mondale during his 1984 presidential campaign and a current finalist for appointment to the Minnesota Supreme Court. (In my opinion, David is clearly the outstanding candidate among the three finalists.)



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