15 state attorneys general back Maryland in challenging Whitaker's appointment

15 state attorneys general back Maryland in challenging Whitaker's appointment
© Getty Images

The attorneys general from 14 states and Washington, D.C., are urging a federal district court judge to block Matthew Whitaker from continuing to serve as ActingMatthew G WhitakerFox's Kilmeade suggests David Bossie, Matthew Whitaker for chief of staff Comey’s confession: dossier not verified before, or after, FISA warrant Flake stands firm on sending a ‘message to the White House’ on Mueller MORE U.S. attorney general.

The state attorneys general filed a friend of the court brief in support of Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh’s request on Nov. 13 for a court to name Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinMueller’s real challenge Graham vows to push Trump’s AG pick through Judiciary Committee House GOP set to grill Comey MORE to the interim role.

Maryland’s request was filed as part of ongoing litigation over the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

ADVERTISEMENT

The states argued in their brief that doubts over the legality of Whitaker’s appointment puts them at risk. They said states make decisions every day in response to Justice Department actions that could now be challenged in court.

“The relationship between the Justice Department and the States is so essential — whether it is collaborative or adversarial — that any doubts about the legitimacy of the Acting Attorney General threaten to harm the Amici States,” they argued in the 22-page brief.

Maryland in one of several legal actions mounting over Trump’s decision to name Whitaker the acting attorney general after former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsChief Justice of California Supreme Court leaves GOP over Kavanaugh confirmation Trump attorney general pick a prolific donor to GOP candidates, groups: report Press: Mueller closes in on Trump MORE resigned at the president’s request on Nov. 7.

The state and others argue the appointment is unlawful and unconstitutional.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpProsecutors investigating Trump inaugural fund, pro-Trump super PAC for possible illegal foreign donations: NY Times George Conway: Why take Trump's word over prosecutors' if he 'lies about virtually everything' Federal judge says lawsuit over Trump travel ban waivers will proceed MORE cannot ignore federal law and Congress’s confirmation powers to elevate a non-confirmed political appointee to act as the nation’s highest law enforcement officer,” Racine said in a statement. “We’re filing an amicus brief supporting Maryland because President Trump’s appointment of Mr. Whitaker is illegal, unconstitutional, and runs counter to the rule of law.”

The brief was brought by the state attorneys general in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington.