WASHINGTON – President Bush on Monday chose C. Boyden Gray (search), a former White House counsel who has been steering a group formed to push the president's Supreme Court nominee, to be the U.S. ambassador to the European Union (search).
The Senate must confirm Gray's nomination to represent the United States in Brussels at the headquarters of the 25-member European Union. Now a partner in a prominent law firm, Gray was White House counsel to former President George H.W. Bush and a Supreme Court clerk to former Chief Justice Earl Warren.
Recently, he has been founder and chairman of Committee for Justice, an influential conservative group formed to counter organizations on the left in the battle over Supreme Court nominees. The group was formed three years ago at the request of Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi, then the majority leader, and the urging of Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove.
As White House counsel, Gray helped Justice Clarence Thomas (search) through his contentious confirmation to the Supreme Court.
Gray is also on the board of Progress for America, a group that spent heavily to oppose Sen. John Kerry in last year's election and spent more than $3 million to help Senate Republicans prevent filibusters on judicial nominations.