Some of Mr. Clark’s associates stated he may very well be pedantic. As a supervisor, he made no effort to cover when he had little respect for his profession subordinates’ opinions.
He shouldn’t be identified for being understated on the subject of himself. Where the everyday biography on the Justice Department web site runs just a few paragraphs, Mr. Clark’s consists of the elementary college he attended in Philadelphia, a subject he debated in faculty and that he labored for his faculty newspaper, The Harvard Crimson.
After graduating from Harvard in 1989, Mr. Clark earned a grasp’s diploma in city affairs and public coverage from the Biden School of Public Policy on the University of Delaware in 1993 and a legislation diploma from Georgetown University in 1995. He clerked for an appeals court docket decide, Danny Boggs, who was identified for giving potential clerks quizzes that examined not simply their information of the legislation, but in addition a spread of esoteric trivia.
Mr. Clark then labored for Kirkland & Ellis from 1996 to 2001, adopted by a stint within the Justice Department’s environmental and pure sources division throughout the Bush administration, earlier than returning to Kirkland in 2005 as a accomplice, however not one with an fairness stake within the agency, in response to an individual who labored intently with him on the legislation agency.He held the title of “non-equity partner,” which meant that he didn’t share within the agency’s earnings or make management choices.
When Mr. Clark returned to the Justice Department as the pinnacle of the environmental division in 2018, he flew beneath the radar. Like different Republican officers, he narrowly interpreted the division’s authorized authority and had a sometimes tense relationship with profession legal professionals when it got here to implementing anti-pollution legal guidelines.
In one occasion, Mr. Clark held up Clean Water Act enforcement instances due to a pending matter earlier than the Supreme Court that profession legal professionals felt didn’t immediately relate to their work, in response to a lawyer with information of these instances. The Supreme Court was listening to a matter that concerned discharges that flowed by way of groundwater earlier than reaching waters regulated by the federal authorities, and the division was engaged on a case that concerned flows over land.
His staff believed that Mr. Clark hoped the court docket would curtail the legislation’s attain in a manner that may apply to overland spills, too, however by a 6-to-3 ruling, it didn’t.