Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Grandstanding: Hirono Lawsuit Challenges Trump Appointment
By Selected News Articles @ 5:36 PM :: 5277 Views :: National News, Politicians

Democrats Haul Trump to Court for Tapping Whitaker as AG

by Tim Ryan, Court House News, November 19, 2018

WASHINGTON (CN) – Contesting the appointment of Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, three Senate Democrats claim in a federal complaint Monday that President Donald Trump circumvented the rigors of a Senate confirmation fight.

“Because the Senate has not consented to Mr. Whitaker serving as an officer of the United States, his designation by the president to perform the functions and duties of the attorney general violates the appointments clause,” the 17-page complaint states. “Indeed, if allowed to stand, Mr. Whitaker’s appointment would create a road map for the evasion of the constitutionally prescribed Senate advice-and-consent role.”

Trump removed former Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Nov. 7 after months of publicly expressing his distaste for the former senator and high-profile Trump surrogate. In a tweet Trump announced he was installing Whitaker, then Sessions’ chief of staff, as the new attorney general.

But Senators Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.; and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, say Justice Department succession rules require Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to take Sessions’ job. Whitaker, after all, has not faced any vote from the Senate, depriving the senators, all of whom sit on the Judiciary Committee, of their advice and consent responsibilities.

Without going through the Senate confirmation process, the lawmakers say Whitaker has so far been able to dodge questions about his legal views, his involvement with a company under investigation by the FBI, and his opinions on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential collusion with the Trump campaign.

“Donald Trump cannot subvert the Constitution to protect himself and evade accountability,” Hirono said in a statement Monday. “We want the court to make clear that the Senate must confirm Matthew Whitaker’s appointment as acting attorney general – otherwise this temporary appointment violates the Constitution’s appointments clause. Without exception for President Trump’s allies, principal officers who report directly to the president must be subject to a hearing and confirmed by the Senate.”

The senators are represented by a group of attorneys from the Protect Democracy Project and the Constitutional Accountability Center.

The Justice Department said in reaction Monday that the claims by the senators “ignore centuries of practice and precedent.”

“President Trump’s designation of Matt Whitaker as acting attorney general of the United States is lawful and comports with the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, the appointments clause of the U.S. Constitution, Supreme Court precedent, past Department of Justice opinions, and actions of U.S. presidents, both Republican and Democrat,” Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a statement. “There are over 160 instances in American history in which non-Senate confirmed persons performed, on a temporary basis, the duties of a Senate-confirmed position.”


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute


Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui


Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today


Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii



Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii


Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu


West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii