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Edwin Kneedler

Edwin Kneedler

Edwin Kneedler

Edwin Kneedler is a Justice Department official who briefly served as Acting United States Solicitor General from January 20, 2009 to March 19, 2009. He first entered the Department of Justice in 1975 in the capacity of an employee of the Office of Legal Justice. In 1979, he transferred to the office of the Solicitor General. He was appointed a Deputy Solicitor General in 1993, a position he has maintained since with the exception of his two-month period as Acting United States Solicitor General.

In his capacity as this type of official, Edwin Kneedler has appeared before the United States Supreme Court in excess of a 100 times. One of his most prominent recent appearances came in 2012, when the constitutional legality of the Affordable Care Act was disputed and heard before that body. Edwin Kneedler was one of 11 officials appearing before the Supreme Court to argue for the legislation's legality.

The Affordable Care Act was a controversial piece of legislation designed to reform the American health care system. 26 states challenged the legality of specific provisions of the bill, which mandated that any American who did not possess health insurance by 2014 would be liable to a penalty tax. The opponents charged that in passing this legislation, Congress had exceeded its authorized powers as defined by the Commerce Clause. The opponents also charged that forcing employers to obtain health insurance for their employers was a violation of states' rights.

After a series of lower court rulings, the Supreme Court case heard the arguments for and against the legislation in March of 2012. Edwin Kneedler was one of the team which successfully argued for the constitutionality of the legislation, which was affirmed by the court in a five to four decision in June of that year.

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