In an op-ed in The Hill, Law Professor Steven Calabresi says that U.S. District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell erred in upholding the constitutionality of the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Her decision has been appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Briefs were due yesterday and oral arguments will take place in October.
Andrew Miller, a witness in the case, is challenging Mueller’s constitutionality. Constitutional and appellate attorney Paul Kamenar, who is supported by the National Legal and Policy Center, represents him. Here’s the op-ed:
In its decision in In re Grand Jury Subpoena, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, egged on by a power-crazy acting attorney general, reached two startling and alarming conclusions in order to uphold the legality of Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel.
The matter involved concerns the Appointments Clause of Article II of the Constitution, which provides:
[The President] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
First, the district court held that the attorney general has unbounded power to create inferior officers, not subject to Senate confirmation, who could replace the Senate-confirmed 92 permanent U.S. Attorneys, the twelve assistant attorneys general, the solicitor general, the associate attorney general, and the deputy attorney general in carrying out the powers of those offices.