Senate Dems File Suit Arguing Whitaker’s Appointment Is Unconstitutional

UNITED STATES - July 23: Matt Whitaker (R) Iowa is interviewed at Roll Call office in Washington, D.C. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - July 23: Matt Whitaker (R) Iowa is interviewed at Roll Call office in Washington, D.C. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A group of Senate Democrats has filed a lawsuit in U.S district court arguing that President Donald Trump’s appointment of Matt Whitaker as acting attorney general is unconstitutional.

According to a Monday Daily Beast report, Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) are suing on the grounds that Whitaker was not Senate-confirmed for the post.

Trump appointed Whitaker through the Vacancies Reform Act, which allows for temporary staffing for 210 days. But the senators are citing a common claim among constitutional scholars that the act does not give the President license to slot a non-confirmed person into a Cabinet-level position.

Whitaker was confirmed by the Senate 14 years ago for his job as a U.S. attorney in Iowa, but some argue that the confirmation has expired.

Last week, the state of Maryland filed a court challenge against Whitaker’s legitimacy as head of the DOJ on similar grounds, arguing that Trump cannot “bypass the constitutional and statutory requirements for appointing someone to that office.”

The DOJ penned a memo in response, claiming that Trump’s move falls within the bounds of the Constitution.

Latest News

Notable Replies

  1. Make

  2. Avatar for ghost ghost says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Donnie!

  3. If Whitaker is permitted to remain in his A.G. position without Senate confirmation for any job in the Trump regime, this means any president, not just Don the Con, can appoint any unqualified hack he wants for 210 day “terms”. Such actions could extend throughout an entire presidency. This nullifies the Constitution’s requirements for Senate confirmation and eviscerates applicable statutory law.

    This is a big deal folks.

  4. Avatar for tena tena says:

    God I love this - we aren’t just renting apartments in DC and looking for drapes - we’re hitting the ground running hard. I love it.

  5. Goddam, I hope this suit is well crafted.

Continue the discussion at

43 more replies


Avatar for system1 Avatar for pluckyinky Avatar for ghost Avatar for littlegirlblue Avatar for cervantes Avatar for trnc Avatar for ignoreland Avatar for schmed Avatar for benthere Avatar for tena Avatar for texastwostep Avatar for ennuithereyet Avatar for misterneutron Avatar for matthew_tanner Avatar for michaelryerson Avatar for socalista Avatar for maximus Avatar for demosthenes59 Avatar for lizbensky Avatar for carolson Avatar for dougsanders Avatar for godwit Avatar for paul_lukasiak Avatar for cheapshotbert

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: