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Justice Department defends Whitaker appointment as acting attorney general

danarhea

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The Justice Department vigorously defended the appointment of Matt Whitaker to serve as acting attorney general, saying Wednesday that the selection was entirely legal and that the White House was given that advice beforehand.

Steven Engel, assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, said in a 20-page written opinion that his office told the White House — before Whitaker was appointed — that the president "could designate a senior Department of Justice official, such as Whitaker, as acting attorney general."

The opinion from the Justice Department cites 160 cases; however, the AG is not among them, and is not included in the Federal Vacancies Act. The last president who replaced an AG in this matter was Andrew Johnson, who installed Henry Stanbury as AG without confirmation, and bypassing the Assistant DA in the process. This was a major factor in his being impeached. After he survived conviction in the Senate by one vote, he then decided to rub it in by appointing Stanbury to the Supreme Court. Congress reacted by doing away with 3 SCOTUS seats so that there was no slot for Stanbury to be appointed to.

Here we go again.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna936136
 

Lutherf

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More media propaganda.

Whitaker was appointed acting AG. The purpose was to fill a vacancy due to Sessions' resignation until such time as a permanent appointment can be made and approved. This should be perfectly fine and dandy.
 

Samhain

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The opinion from the Justice Department cites 160 cases; however, the AG is not among them, and is not included in the Federal Vacancies Act. The last president who replaced an AG in this matter was Andrew Johnson, who installed Henry Stanbury as AG without confirmation, and bypassing the Assistant DA in the process. This was a major factor in his being impeached. After he survived conviction in the Senate by one vote, he then decided to rub it in by appointing Stanbury to the Supreme Court. Congress reacted by doing away with 3 SCOTUS seats so that there was no slot for Stanbury to be appointed to.

Here we go again.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna936136

Johnson was effectively impeached for thumbing his nose at the Tenure of Office Act, which ironically was repealed in 1887 and anecdotally noted as unconstitutional in a similar 1926 SCOTUS case.

I hope this goes to the SCOTUS so they can put parameters on advice and consent, since you are allowed to bypass a senate confirmation for someone who was previously confirmed on another position, but there are no rules on how long that "advice/consent" is good for.

But in this case, since he's just acting AG, I don't think he's invalid. Probably will be a mute point by the end of January/February.
 

AliHajiSheik

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Johnson was effectively impeached for thumbing his nose at the Tenure of Office Act, which ironically was repealed in 1887 and anecdotally noted as unconstitutional in a similar 1926 SCOTUS case.

I hope this goes to the SCOTUS so they can put parameters on advice and consent, since you are allowed to bypass a senate confirmation for someone who was previously confirmed on another position, but there are no rules on how long that "advice/consent" is good for.

But in this case, since he's just acting AG, I don't think he's invalid. Probably will be a mute point by the end of January/February.

Alas, the point will never be mute. Moot perhaps, but folks here will always make sure it is never mute.
 

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More media propaganda.

Whitaker was appointed acting AG. The purpose was to fill a vacancy due to Sessions' resignation until such time as a permanent appointment can be made and approved. This should be perfectly fine and dandy.

I don't think it's necessarily media propaganda. There are several conservative constitutional scholars that think his appointment was unconstitutional. Clarence Thomas's concurrence in NLRB applied to this case would definitely apply to this situation and find Whitaker's appointment unconstitutional. So it definitely isn't some easy 9-0 case or even a 5-4 case with all conservatives on one side and all liberals on another.

That said there are many constitutional experts who believe Whitaker's appointment was perfectly fine. I just don't think this is all media propaganda, or some sort of hyper-partisanship issue. There's legitimate disagreement that goes beyond liberal/conservative or just hating Trump for the sport of it.
 

Lutherf

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I don't think it's necessarily media propaganda. There are several conservative constitutional scholars that think his appointment was unconstitutional. Clarence Thomas's concurrence in NLRB applied to this case would definitely apply to this situation and find Whitaker's appointment unconstitutional. So it definitely isn't some easy 9-0 case or even a 5-4 case with all conservatives on one side and all liberals on another.

That said there are many constitutional experts who believe Whitaker's appointment was perfectly fine. I just don't think this is all media propaganda, or some sort of hyper-partisanship issue. There's legitimate disagreement that goes beyond liberal/conservative or just hating Trump for the sport of it.

The problem with requiring senate approval in a case such as this is that it leaves the position open, perhaps indefinitely if the Senate refuses to approve a nomination. It effectively gives control of much of the Executive branch to the Legislature.
 

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The problem with requiring senate approval in a case such as this is that it leaves the position open, perhaps indefinitely if the Senate refuses to approve a nomination. It effectively gives control of much of the Executive branch to the Legislature.

Oh I definitely agree with that. In a perfect system, I don't think I'd have any problem with an appointment such as Whitaker's. But we have to follow the law and the Constitution and I did find Thomas's concurrence in NLRB somewhat persuasive on the unconstitutionality of the appointment though, especially relying on Eaton as precedent for it. I was unaware of the history of these appointments in our early years though until I read this memo, and I'll have to think about how to square that.
 

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We know why this is an issue, it's obstruction. Trump still hasn't sat down with Mueller, and he's also not answer the written questions.
Now it would be subpoena time, but would Whittaker approve a subpoena? No. How convenient.

We know that the other 4 cabinet officials that were removed/left, the deputy took the acting position until a new one was appointed. Like normal.
Only the AG, surprisingly (not), was a Trump lackey appointment only necessitated by Trump choosing to fire Sessions. All his choice.

Whether DOJ, or even the courts agree, this is not good.

Remember, why is this even an issue? Because Trump chose to do something that is not the way it's normally done for good reason, and our laws our not built to prevent any/all misdeeds in office, they are cobbled together based on experience, and we just don't have a lot of experience with presidents who so brazenly abuse power and the law.

Let the courts decide so that we can learn something from this. Remember plenty of laws allowed Nixon to behave baldly, and plenty of bi-partisan effort went into crafting new laws/policy to curb some of his worst transgressions. Some additional ones are likely needed in the Trump era, and some maybe didn't go too far. We can't expect the populace to elect a decent human as leader, that's for sure. So the courts and the DOJ are not the final answer.

The final answer is finding out how our system works, and deciding if we should change it to improve our government.
 

Obscurity

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The problem with requiring senate approval in a case such as this is that it leaves the position open, perhaps indefinitely if the Senate refuses to approve a nomination. It effectively gives control of much of the Executive branch to the Legislature.

Garland wants his punch line back.
 

Mr Person

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More media propaganda.

Whitaker was appointed acting AG. The purpose was to fill a vacancy due to Sessions' resignation until such time as a permanent appointment can be made and approved. This should be perfectly fine and dandy.
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The problem with requiring senate approval in a case such as this is that it leaves the position open, perhaps indefinitely if the Senate refuses to approve a nomination. It effectively gives control of much of the Executive branch to the Legislature.

You didn't find that to be a problem when a GOP-controlled senate refused to act on other appointments, such as Obama's appointment of Garland, now did you? And how about all those lower judgeships they didn't bother to act on?

Enough with the phony concern for fair process.



You're only defending it because of the letter next to the name.
 

Obscurity

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You didn't find that to be a problem when a GOP-controlled senate refused to act on other appointments, such as Obama's appointment of Garland, now did you? And how about all those lower judgeships they didn't bother to act on?

Enough with the phony concern for fair process.



You're only defending it because of the letter next to the name.


Agreed, 100%. Personally have absolutely had enough of the right wing hypocrisy over these issues.
 

Lutherf

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Garland wants his punch line back.

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You didn't find that to be a problem when a GOP-controlled senate refused to act on other appointments, such as Obama's appointment of Garland, now did you? And how about all those lower judgeships they didn't bother to act on?

Enough with the phony concern for fair process.



You're only defending it because of the letter next to the name.

Garland wasn't being plugged into an "acting" position. He was nominated for a permanent position. That's different than what we have with Whitaker. Furthermore, Garland wasn't going to be approved by the Senate. In that case they chose not to make a political spectacle out of the process, unlike the Democrats did with Kavanaugh who WAS going to be confirmed.
 

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You didn't find that to be a problem when a GOP-controlled senate refused to act on other appointments, such as Obama's appointment of Garland, now did you? And how about all those lower judgeships they didn't bother to act on?

Enough with the phony concern for fair process.



You're only defending it because of the letter next to the name.

The Senate majority did act on Garland, they refused consent, hearings or a Senate vote are irrelevant.
 

SLC

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The Senate majority did act on Garland, they refused consent, hearings or a Senate vote are irrelevant.
I guess they could have given him a hearing and had a bogus 36 year rape attempt story used against him.
 

AliHajiSheik

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Oh look the grammar police can use Google.

It's a dictionary, a book for which some might not be familiar. You might try looking up the word humorless.
 

Roadvirus

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More media propaganda.

Whitaker was appointed acting AG. The purpose was to fill a vacancy due to Sessions' resignation until such time as a permanent appointment can be made and approved. This should be perfectly fine and dandy.

It's not fine and dandy because it's Trump-related, so SOP requires there be pathetic bitching and whining from the usual suspects.

I've said it once, and i'll say it again: If Trump found a cure for cancer tomorrow, some sad sack would accuse him of murdering cancer cells and bankrupting doctors.
 

vesper

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It was reported in the WSJ that the Justice Department would defend Whitaker's appointment as acting AG and laid out legal precedents.

I see in the very near future Mueller's report being completed before the end of the year.

I also see the Inspector General's report into wrongdoing of the Obama administrations' FBI and DOJ leading up to the election of 2016 and after.

I also expect to learn of the indictments of wrongdoers that U.S. Attorney John Huber has sought and that are currently sealed.

I also look to see President Trump order the declassification of the FISA warrants on Carter Page.

I think the goal is to get as much out there before the House committees change leadership the middle of January.
 

SLC

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It was reported in the WSJ that the Justice Department would defend Whitaker's appointment as acting AG and laid out legal precedents.

I see in the very near future Mueller's report being completed before the end of the year.

I also see the Inspector General's report into wrongdoing of the Obama administrations' FBI and DOJ leading up to the election of 2016 and after.

I also expect to learn of the indictments of wrongdoers that U.S. Attorney John Huber has sought and that are currently sealed.

I also look to see President Trump order the declassification of the FISA warrants on Carter Page.

I think the goal is to get as much out there before the House committees change leadership the middle of January.

I'd like to see the Senate intelligence committee continue the investigation that the house intelligence committee started

with Nunes. And I'd like for the Senate intelligence to find out why the Obama administration was unmasking so many US citizens.
 

Atomic Kid

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It was reported in the WSJ that the Justice Department would defend Whitaker's appointment as acting AG and laid out legal precedents.

I see in the very near future Mueller's report being completed before the end of the year.

I also see the Inspector General's report into wrongdoing of the Obama administrations' FBI and DOJ leading up to the election of 2016 and after.

I also expect to learn of the indictments of wrongdoers that U.S. Attorney John Huber has sought and that are currently sealed.

I also look to see President Trump order the declassification of the FISA warrants on Carter Page.

I think the goal is to get as much out there before the House committees change leadership the middle of January.

I see a great deal disappointment in your near future.
 

Lursa

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Holy Christmas! Saw Colbert last night and he really ripped on Whitaker.

On the surface, it's hysterical, but for our country it's humiliating and potentially dangerous.

This guy is a religious nutter clown shyster.
 
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