Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) is challenging President Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker to be acting U.S. attorney general, saying it is unconstitutional and that Trump illegally bypassed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
In court papers filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Maryland, Frosh seeks an injunction preventing Whitaker from serving as acting attorney general and requests that Rosenstein, a former U.S. attorney for Maryland, be installed in the job instead.
The challenge to Whitaker’s appointment is part of an existing federal lawsuit seeking to prevent the Trump administration from gutting provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
Frosh’s motion says Trump intentionally violated the constitutional process for filling a temporary vacancy when the attorney general resigns or is removed from office. The previous attorney general, Jeff Sessions, resigned under pressure last week.
“…nothing in [the] plaintiff’s proposed order would jeopardize the President’s ability to remove Rosenstein if the President thinks he is wrong for the job, nor the President’s authority to nominate someone else (including Whitaker) as Attorney General, subject to the advice and consent of the Senate,” Frosh wrote. “What the President cannot do, however, is bypass the constitutional and statutory requirements for appointing someone to that office.”
Frosh is seeking an expedited order removing Whitaker from the acting attorney general position.