Maryland argues Rosenstein, not Whitaker, should be acting attorney general

Maryland's Attorney General on Tuesday filed papers asking a federal judge to replace Matthew Whitaker as ac...

Posted: Nov 13, 2018 5:31 PM
Updated: Nov 13, 2018 5:31 PM

Maryland's Attorney General on Tuesday filed papers asking a federal judge to replace Matthew Whitaker as acting US attorney general with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Brian Frosh argues Whitaker was not properly appointed and his appointment violates the Attorney General Succession Act in addition to the Appointments Clause of the Constitution.

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His court challenge seeks a preliminary injunction that would stop the Justice Department from proceeding in defending a lawsuit involving the Affordable Care Act unless Rosenstein replaces Whitaker.

Maryland, along with more than a dozen other states, are seeking rulings that the Affordable Care Act remains enforceable despite the Trump administration's efforts to dismantle it.

Since Maryland's lawsuit named former Attorney General Jeff Sessions as a defendant, the state now says the judge overseeing the lawsuit should declare that the proper defendant as attorney general is Rosenstein, not Whitaker.

"It is troubling, to say the least, that the President is attempting to fill a 'vacancy' he created himself with a 'temporary' appointment that might last for many months or years," the motion said.

While the Trump administration has said Whitaker's appointment is valid under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, Maryland urges the judge to rule that the Attorney General Succession Act should actually apply. The AG Succession Act provides that in the case of the vacancy of the office of Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General would exercise all duties of the office. In this case, that would be Rosenstein.

The Justice Department is expected to release an Office of Legal Counsel opinion Tuesday detailing their legal theory behind the legality of Whitaker's appointment.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Marion909511650
Lake48568884
Allen36004640
Hamilton32182398
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Morgan6106126
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 974480

Reported Deaths: 16750
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1125851214
Cuyahoga964441832
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Montgomery47424903
Summit40474802
Butler35678505
Lucas35588685
Stark29495803
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Mahoning19532537
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Licking15037189
Fairfield14587180
Trumbull14381413
Greene13626218
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Clark12319248
Wood11604163
Portage11078164
Allen10804216
Richland10334183
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Marion8006125
Wayne7898193
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Ross6161128
Geauga6097136
Hancock6013116
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Darke5040114
Belmont497659
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Jefferson4814107
Sandusky4785108
Seneca4709107
Washington470991
Athens465447
Mercer459180
Auglaize456480
Shelby442479
Knox4045101
Putnam400090
Madison394253
Ashland381381
Fulton381258
Defiance372983
Brown372244
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Logan356072
Preble353678
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Ottawa324869
Williams302962
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Morrow260934
Henry247058
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Pike216026
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Hocking194754
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Meigs135930
Noble129333
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Morgan101119
Harrison100724
Vinton76613
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