William Barr, Attorney General

William Barr

Attorney General

William Pelham Barr was born in May 1950 in New York City. He earned an undergraduate degree in government from Columbia University. He did two years of graduate study at Columbia, earning an M.A. in government and Chinese studies. He then earned a Juris Doctor from the George Washington University Law School. For four years, he was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. He was a law clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Barr served on the domestic policy staff in the administration of President Ronald Reagan, and was Deputy Assistant Director for Legal Policy for 16 months. He engaged in the private practice of law.

He was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department and was later appointed Deputy Attorney General. From 1991 to 1993, he was the U.S. Attorney General. After leaving the Department of Justice, Barr was appointed by the governor of Virginia to co-chair a commission to reform the criminal justice system and abolish parole in that state.

Barr became Executive Vice President and General Counsel of GTE Corporation, a telecommunications company, where he served for 14 years.

In October 2018, President Donald Trump nominated Barr to be Attorney General. He was confirmed by the Senate in a 54-45 vote and assumed office in February 2019.

He is married to Christine Moynihan Barr and they have three daughters. He is a Catholic.

In the News…

Attorney General William Barr said that states should begin loosening restrictions put in place during the coronavirus pandemic.  He said the government “unquestionably has the right” to” impose reasonable and temporary restrictions” in the face of a national health emergency.

“But,” he cautioned, “the Bill of Rights doesn’t go away during a crisis like this. What it does do is it requires that the government justify any restrictions as truly necessary.”

At the beginning of the pandemic, the attorney general said he thought it was right for there to be broad restrictions “because we didn’t know much about the disease except that it was very contagious.” He added, “But now that the curve has been flattened, the rate of spread has been slowed, our system has not been overwhelmed and has time to adjust to the situation, it’s time to start rolling back some of those restrictions in an orderly and sensible way.”

He cited President Trump’s “Opening Up America Again” plan, which gives governors the direction to begin reopening state economies in three phases. He implied that the Justice Department could eventually take action against potentially unconstitutional virus restrictions.

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Attorney General Barr today? You can let him know at:

The Honorable William P. Barr
Attorney General
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20530


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