[Ed. – This is the second lawsuit, in addition to Maryland’s. It doesn’t really seem worth proving a point in court about constitutionality in acting cabinet place-holders. After all, a Democratic president may one day want to have someone in an acting role whose position is the same as Whitaker’s. This is apparently more about trying to prevent Whitaker from ending the Mueller investigation, which the Democrats are desperate to hang onto.]
A group of Senate Democrats is suing to block Matt Whitaker from serving as acting attorney general on grounds that his placement in the post was unconstitutional.
The suit, which is being filed by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is the latest and most aggressive salvo against the Whitaker appointment. Last week, the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel defended Whitaker’s promotion in a memo that drew immediate criticism for its expansive understanding of the president’s power. That view is in hot dispute, including from the state of Maryland, which petitioned a federal judge to stop him from serving on constitutional grounds.
The latest suit, which was brought by the groups Protect Democracy and the Constitutional Accountability Center for the Senators, argues that Whitaker’s appointment violates the Constitution’s Appointments Clause because the U.S. Senate did not confirm him to his prior post.