The Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) is pleased to name Charles “Chuck” Copper as the recipient of the 2016 Ed Meese Award. Cooper was selected for the Ed Meese Award, named after the 65th United States Attorney General, as he has upheld the rule of law in the face of adverse political challenges.
Charles J. Cooper is a founding member and chairman of Cooper & Kirk, PLLC. Named by The National Law Journal as one of the 10 best civil litigators in Washington, he has over 35 years of legal experience in government and private practice, with several appearances before the United States Supreme Court and scores of other successful cases on both the trial and appellate levels.
Shortly after serving as law clerk to Judge Paul Roney of the Fifth (now Eleventh) Circuit Court of Appeals, and to Justice (later Chief Justice) William H. Rehnquist, Mr. Cooper joined the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in 1981. In 1985 President Reagan appointed Mr. Cooper to the position of Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel. Mr. Cooper reentered private practice in 1988, as a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of McGuire Woods. From 1990 until the founding of Cooper & Kirk in 1996, he was a partner at Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge where he headed the firm’s Constitutional and Government Litigation Group.
Mr. Cooper’s practice is national in scope and is concentrated in the areas of constitutional, commercial, and civil rights litigation. He is currently representing private clients in a variety of commercial cases, including antitrust, intellectual property, and contract disputes. Mr. Cooper also represents a number of state and local government bodies, as well as private clients, in a wide range of constitutional and federal statutory cases.
In 1998 Mr. Cooper was appointed by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to serve as a member of the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States. Mr. Cooper is a member of the American Law Institute and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and he has spoken and published extensively on a wide variety of constitutional and legal policy topics.
Mr. Cooper is a lifelong Republican who has been active in numerous local, state and national election campaigns. He served as National Co-Chairman of Lawyers for Bush-Cheney 2004, the last successful Republican Presidential Campaign. Mr. Cooper’s firm has employed numerous leaders in the Republican and conservative legal movement including Senators Tom Cotton and Ted Cruz. Mr. Cooper has also been previously honored by the RNLA with the 2010 Republican Lawyer of the Year Award.