Appointments, Confirmations & Budgets

Central Intelligence Agency / Ben Balter (background)

Beneath the high-profile conflicts over civil liberties or targeted killings, a myriad more mundane decisions lie at the intersection of national security and the law. Our constitutional process requires the advice and consent of the Senate for many high-level executive positions, including those responsible for national security, and each year, Congress must pass a budget that includes funding for the armed forces and intelligence agencies. Sometimes these confirmation and budgetary battles become proxy fights for larger and deeper disagreements, and often, they simply reflect the petty partisan politics of the age.

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Latest in Appointments, Confirmations & Budgets

Federal Law Enforcement

New Resource Page: Litigation Documents on the Appointment of Matthew Whitaker

As Lawfare readers have probably noticed, there has been a fair amount of controversy over Matthew Whitaker's designation as acting attorney general as of late. To keep track of it all, we at Lawfare have put together a resource page collecting all litigation documents regarding Whitaker's appointment, ranging from outright challenges to Whitaker's role as acting attorney general (Maryland v. U.S., Blumenthal v. Whitaker, and Michaels v.

Federal Law Enforcement

Document: Three Senators Challenge Whitaker Appointment in D.C. Federal District Court

On Monday, Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Sheldon Whitehouse and Mazie K. Hirono filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia asking a federal judge to decide the legality of Matthew Whitaker's service as acting attorney general. The senators argue that Whitaker's appointment is in violation of the Appointments Clause as Whitaker was not confirmed by the U.S. Senate in his prior post. The full complaint is below.

Federal Law Enforcement

Document: Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel Memo on Designating an Acting Attorney General

On Nov. 14, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel released a memo defending the legality of President Donald Trump’s Nov. 7 designation of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general. Read the document in full below.

Federal Law Enforcement

Document: State of Maryland Motions for Judge to Decide Whether Whitaker Is Acting Attorney General

On Tuesday, in litigation related to the Affordable Care Act in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the state of Maryland filed a motion to substitute the acting attorney general for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions as a defendant. In the motion, the state asks the judge for expedited consideration declaring Matthew Whitaker is not the lawful acting attorney general. The motion is below.

U.S. Supreme Court

Experts Testify on National Security and Executive Power at Fourth Day of Kavanaugh Hearings

During the fourth day of hearings on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, two experts testified on matters that may be of interest to Lawfare readers. Rebecca Ingber, associate professor at Boston University School of Law and contributing editor for Lawfare, testified about Judge Kavanaugh's approaches to executive deference on national security matters and to international law.

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