Jefferson City, Mo. - The Missouri Attorney General’s Office today announced the appointment of James Layton, former Solicitor General of Missouri to present oral argument to the U.S. Supreme Court in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Pauley, No. 15-577 (U.S.). The case, concerning the availability of public grant monies to religious institutions, was litigated in the lower courts and briefed at the U.S. Supreme Court by Attorney General Chris Koster’s administration, before Attorney General Hawley took office. Oral argument is scheduled for April 19, 2017. Attorney General Josh Hawley is recused from the case.
Layton served as lead counsel at all stages of the Trinity litigation under former Attorney General Koster, including briefing and arguing the case in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and serving as Counsel of Record at the U.S. Supreme Court. First Assistant Attorney General John Sauer commented, “This case was thoroughly litigated and briefed by the Koster administration. All that remains is the oral argument. Former Solicitor General Layton has carefully studied and vigorously defended the position taken by former Governor Nixon’s administration at issue in the Trinity Lutheran case. Mr. Layton is very well qualified and uniquely situated to defend that position in oral argument to the Supreme Court.”
Layton served as Solicitor General of Missouri for over 20 years under former Attorneys General Jay Nixon and Chris Koster. Layton has argued three cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, 18 cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and 92 cases in the Missouri Supreme Court. He recently entered private practice at Tueth Keeney Cooper Mohan Jackstadt P.C., in St. Louis, Missouri, where he specializes in complex litigation and appellate law.