Thursday, November 8, 2018

QOTD: Whitaker Appointment Is Illegal

An op-ed in today's New York Times by former Solicitor General Neal Katyal and George Conway, conservative lawyer and husband of the White (Supremacist) House's alternative facts-spinner Kellyanne Conway, lays out the case that the appointment of Trump lackey and justice obstructor Matt Whitaker as Acting Attorney General is illegal and unconstitutional. Key points:
A principal officer must be confirmed by the Senate. And that has a very, very significant consequence today. It means that President Trump’s installation of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general of the United States after forcing the resignation of Jeff Sessions is unconstitutional. It’s illegal. And it means that anything Mr. Whitaker does, or tries to do, in that position is invalid.

Much of the commentary about Mr. Whitaker’s appointment has focused on all sorts of technical points about the Vacancies Reform Act and Justice Department succession statutes. But the flaw in the appointment of Mr. Whitaker, who was Mr. Sessions’s chief of staff at the Justice Department, runs much deeper. It defies one of the explicit checks and balances set out in the Constitution, a provision designed to protect us all against the centralization of government power.
(our emphasis)
Those checks and balances, which neo-fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump would prefer ignoring, protect us from one individual making all of Government's major appointments without the legislative branch consenting to it. They continue:
"Because Mr. Whitaker has not undergone the process of Senate confirmation, there has been no mechanism for scrutinizing whether he has the character and ability to evenhandedly enforce the law in such a position of grave responsibility. The public is entitled to that assurance, especially since Mr. Whitaker’s only supervisor is President Trump himself, and the president is hopelessly compromised by the Mueller investigation. That is why adherence to the requirements of the Appointments Clause is so important here, and always." (our emphasis)
Rethuglican Senators will likely roll over for Rump as they always do. But this should be challenged in Federal Court. Then, Justice Thomas' majority opinion on shenanigans like this (as cited in the full op-ed) could be tossed back at Rump.

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