SCOTUS Blog's Tom Goldstein's Motion to Install Rosenstein as AG. “This is a constitutional crisis.”

(Thomas C. Goldstein, known as simply Tom Goldstein, is an American attorney known for his advocacy before and blogging about the Supreme Court. Over the past fifteen years, Goldstein has served as one of the lawyers for one of the parties in just under 10% of the cases argued before the Supreme Court.)

“Lawyer Tom Goldstein on Friday asked the US Supreme Court to appoint Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as the acting Attorney General, replacing Matthew Whitaker.

Goldstein claims that Whitaker was illegally installed as the temporary successor of former attorney general Jeff Sessions, and that Rosenstein is the legal and constitutional successor to Sessions. The motion argues that as the Senate-confirmed Deputy Attorney General, Rosenstein automatically succeeded to the role of Acting Attorney General under 28 USC § 508(a) and the Appointments Clause in Article II of the Constitution.

The motion calls for the court to resolve this dispute immediately. The Attorney General has a number of responsibilities, including appointing immigration judges, determining whether to enforce federal statutes and overseeing the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.”

Key passages:


  • November 29, 2018