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15 attorneys general join Amicus Brief opposing Matthew Whitaker

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Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker
Acting
Attorney General Matthew Whitaker speaks at the Dept. of
Justice’s Annual Veterans Appreciation Day Ceremony, Thursday,
Nov. 15, 2018, at the Justice Department in
Washington.


Pablo
Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo



  • Fifteen attorneys general filed an amicus brief on Monday
    supporting Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh’s motion to
    block Matthew Whitaker from serving as US attorney general.
  • Whitaker was named acting attorney general following former
    Attorney General Jeff Session’s resignation in early November.
    Whitaker previously served as Session’s chief of staff not as
    deputy attorney general.
  • The 15 attorneys general argue that Whitaker’s appointment is
    illegal because it breaks the stated chain of succession.
  • On November 13, Frosh’s office
    filed a motion
    for a preliminary injunction to stop Whitaker
    from acting as attorney general, or to substitute Deputy Attorney
    General Rod Rosenstein as a defendant in an ongoing suit between
    Maryland and the federal government over the Affordable Care Act.

Fifteen attorneys general filed an amicus brief on Monday
supporting Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh’s motion to
block Matthew Whitaker from serving as US attorney general.

Whitaker was named acting attorney general following former
Attorney General Jeff Session’s resignation in early November.
Whitaker previously served as Session’s chief of staff not as
deputy attorney general.

In the amicus brief, attorneys general from the Pennsylvania, the
District of Columbia, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii,
Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina,
Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington argue that the
appointment of Whitaker is illegal because it “ignores
long-established vacancy succession laws, and is in violation of
Congress’ clear designation of the Deputy Attorney General as the
Acting Attorney General,” according to a statement from
New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood
.

On November 13, Frosh’s office
filed a motion
for a preliminary injunction to stop Whitaker
from acting as attorney general, or to substitute Deputy Attorney
General Rod Rosenstein as a defendant in an ongoing suit between
Maryland and the federal government over the Affordable Care Act.


Read more:

Here’s a full timeline of acting AG Matthew Whitaker’s
controversial past

Frosh argues that Whitaker’s appointment violates violates 28
U.S.C. Section 508, which stipulates that the deputy AG should
take over if the attorney general resigns, and that Whitaker’s
appointment violates law that stipulates that the Senate must
confirm “principal officers” — of which attorney general was one
of the original four stipulated in the Constitution.

“In this case, the health care of millions of Marylanders and
Americans is at stake,” Frosh said in a statement. “The suit
cannot go forward without a legitimate Attorney General, and an
Acting Attorney General making decisions that could affect
matters of life and death without lawful authority puts all of us
at risk.”

The
amicus brief
from the 15 attorneys general supports Maryland,
and argues that the legal uncertainty around Whitaker makes it
difficult for the states to coordinate law enforcement agencies
with the Department of Justice, and thus impacts the residents of
the 14 states plus the District of Columbia.

The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to
INSIDER’s request for comment on Monday night.

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