Legal Maneuver

By Marcus Weisgerber / May 1, 2009 at 5:00 AM

The White House has tapped Charles Blanchard to become the Air Force's new general counsel. If confirmed, the Arizona lawyer would replace Mary Walker, who was among the first political appointees out the door when President Obama took office in January.

Blanchard -- a partner at Perkins Coie Brown & Bain in Phoenix -- served as the Air Force's general counsel during both of President George W. Bush's terms, and as the Army's general counsel under President Clinton from 1999 to 2001, according to a biography posted on the Web site of the Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, where he is an adjunct professor.

His biography also notes:

Mr. Blanchard was law clerk to the Hon. Harry T. Edwards in Washington, D.C., and then law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. From 1987-88 he served as Associate Independent Counsel for the Office of Independent Counsel James McKay.

Blanchard has served two consecutive terms in the Arizona Senate, from 1991-95, where he chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee and was Vice Chairman of the Senate Environmental Committee. From 1997-99 he was Chief Counsel for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.