THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
The White House today announced the retirement of White House Counsel Abner Mikva, who has chosen to return to private life effective November 1. President Clinton has appointed Jack Quinn as Assistant to the President and White House Counsel, as Judge Mikva's replacement. Quinn joined the staff of Vice President Gore on Inauguration Day, 1993 as Counsel and Deputy Chief of Staff. In July, 1993, Quinn was named Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the Vice President.
Judge Mikva has chosen to retire from his position as White House Counsel after a long and distinguished career that includes service in each of the three branches of government.
"I am thankful to Judge Mikva for his outstanding service as White House Counsel. Although I am saddened by his departure, I am grateful that he was willing to come forward and serve his country. He is a valued member of the White House staff and he will be greatly missed," the President said.
"Ab Mikva brought a special combination of legal acumen, wise judgment and uncompromising integrity to his job. Throughout his life and his unique service in the three branches of government, he has been a caring, passionate and devoted public servant. We are all indebted to him for his many years of service. He is richly deserving of the retirement he and his wife Zoe will now be able to enjoy," the President said.
Prior to joining the Vice President's staff, Quinn was a partner in the Washington law firm of Arnold & Porter. After joining the firm in 1976, he was elected a partner in 1982. For three years while at the firm, Quinn was also an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law Center, where he taught a seminar in constitutional law. Quinn was born and raised in New York. He graduated from Georgetown University College of Arts and Sciences in 1971 and received his law degree from Georgetown in 1975. While at the Law Center, he was editor of the Law Review.
"Jack Quinn will make an excellent White House Counsel. As both my friend and close advisor for many years, he has consistently provided me with counsel that is steady, wise, and greatly valued. I am confident he will serve the President in his new capacity with great success," the Vice President said.
Abner Mikva was appointed White House Counsel on October 1, 1994. Prior to his appointment, he served as judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and served as chief judge from January 1991 to September 1994. Before coming to the bench, he was elected to Congress for five terms, representing portions of Chicago and its suburbs.
Judge Mikva received his law degree from the University of Chicago in 1951. He was a law clerk to United States Supreme Court Justice Sherman Minton. After his clerkship, he returned to Illinois, where he entered private practice, becoming a partner of the late Justice Arthur Goldberg. He presented several constitutional cases to the U.S. Supreme Court and is the co-author of two text books on political science and the legislative process.