Judge Turns Back Constitutional Challenge to Mueller— For Now

Hon. Beryl Howell, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, has denied a Motion to Quash a subpoena to a Grand Jury witness in the Russia collusion probe headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The Motion was made by attorneys for a witness on the basis that Mueller’s appointment was not constitutional under the Appointments Clause. The Motion was argued during a 90-minute hearing on July 18. The names of the witness and the attorneys were redacted in the decision, which was made public today.

Howell’s denial was expected. Attorneys for the witness will appeal the ruling to a higher court.

Click here for the 93-page decision.Read More ➡

Debate Heats Up Over Constitutionality of Mueller Probe

Legal scholars Seth Barrett Tillman and Josh Blackman have weighed in on the increasingly relevant question of whether Robert Mueller’s appointment as Special Counsel is constitutional. I made my views known when I told the New York Times, “The founders feared exactly what we see in Mueller: a runaway federal official. We hope to see Mueller’s operation disbanded, once and for all.”

In an article titled “Is Robert Mueller an ‘Officer of the United States’ or an ‘Employee of the United States'”? appearing on the Lawfare website, Tillman and Blackman examine a number of arguments and offer some of their own:

Recent debates over the constitutionality of Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel turn on whether he is a principal or inferior “officer of the United States.” Steven Calabresi contends that Mueller is in fact a principal officer, who, as a result, must be nominated by the president, and … Read More ➡

Is Robert Mueller’s Probe Unconstitutional?

The question of whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is constitutional is examined by George Will in his latest column:

The president, who might not be fully acquainted with the pertinent Supreme Court case law, says the appointment of Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel was unconstitutional. The president’s opinion, because it is his, is prima facie evidence for the opposite conclusion. It is, however, not sufficient evidence. Consider the debate between two serious people who have immersed themselves in the history of the appointments clause, which says:

“[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 … Read More ➡