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Beth S. Brinkmann
Washington +1 202 662 5312 bbrinkmann@cov.com Download V-card

Beth Brinkmann is an experienced appellate and Supreme Court litigator who has served in high-level positions in the Department of Justice, most recently as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division. She has argued 24 cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. Ms. Brinkmann also has argued in numerous federal and state appellate courts across the country.

As the Civil Division’s top appellate lawyer, she was responsible for supervising much of the federal government’s civil litigation in appellate courts, including constitutional challenges, administrative law issues, intellectual property matters, and national security cases. During her tenure at the DOJ, Ms. Brinkmann presented oral argument in several high-profile court of appeals cases, including the successful defense of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and the government’s victory in federal immigration preemption litigation. She also regularly consulted with trial lawyers for the government on legal arguments and strategy at early phases of litigation, made recommendations on appellate matters to the U.S. Solicitor General, and advised senior leadership of cabinet-level departments and at regulatory agencies regarding litigation risk, legislative proposals, and rulemaking matters.

  • Successfully defended in court of appeals against First Amendment challenge the statutory regulation of activities on terrace at entrance to Supreme Court.
  • Prevailed on challenge to standing of local official seeking invalidation of federal immigration guidance.
  • Obtained appellate reversal of trial court’s sanctions award against government in FOIA litigation.
  • Prevailed in appellate court on preemption challenge to state immigration legislation.
  • Obtained appellate reversal of trial court’s invalidation of specific uses of federal funding by National Institutes of Health.
  • En banc appellate victory on political question doctrine to bar action against President and other government officials related to U.S. missile strike.
  • Successfully defended constitutionality of agency’s revocation of individual’s security clearance.
  • Unanimous win in Supreme Court invalidating certain state regulations as preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act.
  • Obtained victory in Supreme Court on constitutional grounds, limiting ability of State to tax income earned on sale of nonunitary businesses by out-of-state companies notwithstanding other business activity in State.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court, Master, former officer
  • Supreme Court Historical Society, Board of Trustees
  • Historical Society of the District of Columbia Circuit, Board of Directors (2007-2010)
  • Georgetown University Law Center, Supreme Court Institute, former Advisory Board member

Previous Experience

  • U.S. Department of Justice: Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division; Assistant to the Solicitor General
  • Head of the appellate practice at an international law firm.
  • Assistant Federal Public Defender
  • Attorney General’s John Marshall Award, Department of Justice’s highest award to attorneys for outstanding legal work in specialized areas
  • Abraham Lincoln Honor Award from the Secretary of Agriculture
  • National Institutes of Health, Director’s Award
  • Rex Lee Advocacy Award from the J. Reuben Clark Law Society
  • Edmund Randolph Award from the William & Mary School of Law, Institute of Bill of Rights Law
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Cal Alumni Club of Washington, DC
  • Legal Times, Washington DC’s Most Influential Women Lawyers
  • Legal 500 US, Leader in Dispute Resolution - Appellate - Supreme Court  
  • Best Lawyers in America, Leader in Appellate Law
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers, Leading Appellate Lawyers, also Top 50 Women Lawyers in Washington, DC
  • Washingtonian Magazine, Washington’s Top Constitutional Lawyers
  • Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Business Lawyers, Appellate Litigation
  • Legal Times, DC Area’s Top 12 Appellate Litigators
  • National Association of Attorneys General, Volunteer Award