3 Senators Sue Trump Over Matthew Whitaker Appointment

Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) have sued Trump in federal court over the unconstitutional appointment of interim Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

The Senators said in a press release that Trump is in violation of the Constitution‘s Appointments Clause, “The Constitution’s Appointments Clause requires that the Senate confirm high-level federal government officials, including the Attorney General, before they exercise the duties of the office. The Framers included this requirement to ensure that senior administration officials receive scrutiny by the American people’s representatives in Congress. The Appointments Clause is also meant to prevent the President, in the words of Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 76, from appointing officers with “no other merit than that of…possessing the necessary insignificance and pliancy to render them the obsequious instruments of his pleasure.”

Each of the senators serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, so they should have legal standing to challenge the appointment.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal said, “Installing Matthew Whitaker so flagrantly defies constitutional law that any viewer of School House Rock would recognize it. Americans prize a system of checks and balances, which President Trump’s dictatorial appointment betrays. President Trump is denying Senators our constitutional obligation and opportunity to do our job: scrutinizing the nomination of our nation’s top law enforcement official. The reason is simple: Whitaker would never pass the advice and consent test. In selecting a so-called “constitutional nobody” and thwarting every Senator’s constitutional duty, Trump leaves us no choice but to seek recourse through the courts.”

Trump Stands A Good Chance Of Losing In Court

Matthew Whitaker would never have made it through the Senate. Trump was clearly trying to pull an end run around the Constitution. There is also a statute related to Justice Department appointments that Trump appears to be violating. Trump is hoping to use Whitaker to kill the Mueller investigation before the matter can be litigated by the courts.

The Senators have a good chance of winning. The question is, can they win before Trump makes his move on Mueller? The clock is ticking and the speed with which this is litigated will determine if Trump gets the chance to trigger a constitutional crisis.

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