United States Attorney General

Last updated

United States Attorney General
Seal of the United States Department of Justice.svg
Seal of the Department of Justice
Flag of the United States Attorney General.svg
Flag of the Attorney General
William Barr (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
William Barr

since February 14, 2019
United States Department of Justice
Style Mr. Attorney General
Member of Cabinet
Reports to President of the United States
Seat Department of Justice Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term length No Fixed Term
Constituting instrument 28 U.S.C.   § 503
Judiciary Act of 1789
FormationSeptember 26, 1789
First holder Edmund Randolph
Succession Seventh [1]
Deputy Deputy Attorney General
Salary Executive Schedule, level I [2]
Website www.justice.gov

The United States Attorney General (A.G.) is the chief lawyer of the federal government of the United States and head of the United States Department of Justice per 28 U.S.C.   § 503, concerned with all legal affairs.

Federal government of the United States national government of the United States

The Federal Government of the United States is the national government of the United States, a federal republic in North America, composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and several island possessions. The federal government is composed of three distinct branches: legislative, executive, and judicial, whose powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the President, and the federal courts, respectively. The powers and duties of these branches are further defined by acts of congress, including the creation of executive departments and courts inferior to the Supreme Court.

United States Department of Justice U.S. federal executive department in charge of law enforcement

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), also known as the Justice Department, is a federal executive department of the U.S. government, responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice in the United States, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries. The department was formed in 1870 during the Ulysses S. Grant administration.

Title 28 is the portion of the United States Code that governs the federal judicial system.

Contents

Under the Appointments Clause of the United States Constitution, the officeholder is nominated by the President of the United States and appointed with the advice and consent of the United States Senate. The U.S. Constitution provides that civil officers of the United States, which would include the U.S. Attorney General, may be impeached by Congress for treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors. [3] The United States Attorney General may be removed at will by the President of the United States under the Supreme Court decision Myers v. United States , which found that executive branch officials may be removed without the consent of any entity. [4] In cases of the federal death penalty, the power to seek the death penalty rests with the U.S. Attorney General.

Appointments Clause

The Appointments Clause is part of Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, which empowers the President of the United States to nominate and, with the advice and consent (confirmation) of the United States Senate, appoint public officials. Although the Senate must confirm certain principal officers, Congress may by law delegate the Senate's advice and consent role when it comes to "inferior" officers.

United States Constitution Supreme law of the United States of America

The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States. The Constitution, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress ; the executive, consisting of the President ; and the judicial, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts. Articles Four, Five and Six embody concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments, the states in relationship to the federal government, and the shared process of constitutional amendment. Article Seven establishes the procedure subsequently used by the thirteen States to ratify it. It is regarded as the oldest written and codified national constitution in force.

President of the United States Head of state and of government of the United States

The President of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.

The current Attorney General is William Barr. [5]

History

Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789 which, among other things, established the Office of the Attorney General. The original duties of this officer were "to prosecute and conduct all suits in the Supreme Court in which the United States shall be concerned, and to give his advice and opinion upon questions of law when required by the President of the United States, or when requested by the heads of any of the departments." [6]

United States Congress Legislature of the United States

The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Judiciary Act of 1789

The Judiciary Act of 1789 was a United States federal statute adopted on September 24, 1789, in the first session of the First United States Congress. It established the federal judiciary of the United States. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution prescribed that the "judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and such inferior Courts" as Congress saw fit to establish. It made no provision for the composition or procedures of any of the courts, leaving this to Congress to decide.

Supreme Court of the United States highest court in the United States

The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. Established pursuant to Article III of the U.S. Constitution in 1789, it has original jurisdiction over a small range of cases, such as suits between two or more states, and those involving ambassadors. It also has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all federal court and state court cases that involve a point of federal constitutional or statutory law. The Court has the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Constitution or an executive act for being unlawful. However, it may act only within the context of a case in an area of law over which it has jurisdiction. The Court may decide cases having political overtones, but it has ruled that it does not have power to decide nonjusticiable political questions. Each year it agrees to hear about 100–150 of the more than 7,000 cases that it is asked to review.

The Department of Justice was established in 1870 to support the Attorney General in the discharge of their responsibilities.

The Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of Defense are generally regarded as the four most important Cabinet officials in the United States because of the significance and age of their respective departments. [7]

United States Secretary of State U.S. cabinet member and head of the U.S. State Department

The Secretary of State is a senior official of the federal government of the United States of America, and as head of the United States Department of State, is principally concerned with foreign policy and is considered to be the U.S. government's equivalent of a Minister for Foreign Affairs.

United States Secretary of the Treasury

The Secretary of the Treasury is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury which is concerned with financial and monetary matters, and, until 2003, also included several federal law enforcement agencies. This position in the federal government of the United States is analogous to the Minister of Finance in many other countries. The Secretary of the Treasury is a member of the President's Cabinet, and is nominated by the President of the United States. Nominees for Secretary of the Treasury undergo a confirmation hearing before the United States Senate Committee on Finance before being voted on by the United States Senate.

United States Secretary of Defense Leader of the United States armed forces following the President

The Secretary of Defense (SecDef) is the leader and chief executive officer of the United States Department of Defense, the executive department of the Armed Forces of the U.S. The Secretary of Defense's position of command and authority over the U.S. military is second only to that of the President and Congress, respectively. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in many other countries. The Secretary of Defense is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, and is by custom a member of the Cabinet and by law a member of the National Security Council.

Presidential transition

It is the practice for the Attorney General, along with many other public officials, to give resignation with effect on the Inauguration Day (January 20) of a new President. The Deputy Attorney General, who is also required to tender their resignation, is commonly requested to stay on and act as Attorney General pending the confirmation by the Senate of the new Attorney General.

For example, on the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January, 20, 2017, the tenure of the then Attorney General Loretta Lynch was brought to an end, and the Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who had also tendered her resignation, was asked to stay on and be Acting Attorney General until the confirmation of the new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had been nominated for the office in November 2016 by then-President-elect Donald Trump.

List of Attorneys General

Parties

   No party (1)    Federalist (3)    Democratic-Republican (5)    Democratic (34)    Whig (4)    Republican (38)

Status
  Denotes service as acting Attorneys General prior to appointment or after resignation
No.PortraitNameState of ResidenceTook officeLeft office President(s)
1 EdRand.jpg Edmund Randolph Virginia September 26, 1789January 26, 1794 George Washington
2 William Bradford, AG.jpg William Bradford Pennsylvania January 27, 1794August 23, 1795
3 Charles Lee, AG.png Charles Lee Virginia December 10, 1795February 19, 1801
John Adams
4 Levi Lincoln, Sr.jpg Levi Lincoln Sr. Massachusetts March 5, 1801March 2, 1805 Thomas Jefferson
5 John Breckinridge.jpg John Breckinridge Kentucky August 7, 1805December 14, 1806
6 Rodneycaesara3.jpg Caesar Augustus Rodney Delaware January 20, 1807December 10, 1811
James Madison
7 Williampinkney (1).jpg William Pinkney Maryland December 11, 1811February 9, 1814
8 Richard Rush engraving.png Richard Rush Pennsylvania February 10, 1814November 12, 1817
9 Attorney General William Wirt.jpg William Wirt Virginia November 13, 1817March 4, 1829 James Monroe
John Quincy Adams
10 John Macpherson Berrien.jpg John M. Berrien Georgia March 9, 1829July 19, 1831 Andrew Jackson
11 Roger Taney.jpg Roger B. Taney Maryland July 20, 1831November 14, 1833
12 Benjamin Franklin Butler (1795–1858).jpg Benjamin Franklin Butler New York November 15, 1833July 4, 1838
Martin Van Buren
13 Felix Grundy.jpg Felix Grundy Tennessee July 5, 1838January 10, 1840
14 Henry D. Gilpin, Attorney General of the United States (trimmed).jpg Henry D. Gilpin Pennsylvania January 11, 1840March 4, 1841
15 John Jordan Crittenden - Brady 1855.jpg John J. Crittenden Kentucky March 5, 1841September 12, 1841 William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
16 Hugh S. Legaré.jpg Hugh S. Legaré South Carolina September 13, 1841June 20, 1843
17 John Nelson, bw photo portrait, Brady-Handy collection, circa 1855-1865.jpg John Nelson Maryland July 1, 1843March 4, 1845
18 JYMason.jpg John Y. Mason Virginia March 5, 1845October 16, 1846 James K. Polk
19 NClifford.jpg Nathan Clifford Maine October 17, 1846March 17, 1848
20 Isaac Toucey - Brady-Handy.jpg Isaac Toucey Connecticut June 21, 1848March 4, 1849
21 Reverdy Johnson.jpg Reverdy Johnson Maryland March 8, 1849July 21, 1850 Zachary Taylor
22 John Jordan Crittenden - Brady 1855.jpg John J. Crittenden (2) Kentucky July 22, 1850March 4, 1853 Millard Fillmore
23 Caleb Cushing.jpg Caleb Cushing Massachusetts March 7, 1853March 4, 1857 Franklin Pierce
24 JSBlack-AG.jpg Jeremiah S. Black Pennsylvania March 6, 1857December 16, 1860 James Buchanan
25 Edwin McMasters Stanton Secretary of War.jpg Edwin Stanton Pennsylvania December 20, 1860March 4, 1861
26 Edward Bates - Brady-Handy.jpg Edward Bates Missouri March 5, 1861November 24, 1864 Abraham Lincoln
27 James Speed.jpg James Speed Kentucky December 2, 1864July 22, 1866
Andrew Johnson
28 Stanberry-AttorGen.jpg Henry Stanbery Ohio July 23, 1866July 16, 1868
29 William M. Evarts - Brady-Handy.jpg William M. Evarts New York July 17, 1868March 4, 1869
30 EbenezerRHoar.jpg Ebenezer R. Hoar Massachusetts March 5, 1869November 22, 1870 Ulysses S. Grant
31 Amos T Akerman - crop and minor retouch.jpg Amos T. Akerman Georgia November 23, 1870December 13, 1871
32 George Henry Williams - Brady-Handy - Restored & Cropped.jpg George Henry Williams Oregon December 14, 1871April 25, 1875
33 Edwards Pierrepont, Brady-Handy bw photo portrait, ca1865-1880.jpg Edwards Pierrepont New York April 26, 1875May 21, 1876
34 Alphonso Taft seated.jpg Alphonso Taft Ohio (born in Vermont)May 22, 1876March 4, 1877
35 Hon. Charles Devens of Mass. Atty Gen. Hayes Cabinet.png Charles Devens Massachusetts March 12, 1877March 4, 1881 Rutherford B. Hayes
36 Wayne MacVeagh - Brady-Handy.jpg Wayne MacVeagh Pennsylvania March 5, 1881December 15, 1881 James A. Garfield
Chester A. Arthur
37 BenjaminHBrewster.jpg Benjamin H. Brewster Pennsylvania December 16, 1881March 4, 1885
38 Augustus Hill Garland - Brady-Handy.jpg Augustus Garland Arkansas March 6, 1885March 4, 1889 Grover Cleveland
39 WHHMiller.jpg William H. H. Miller Indiana March 7, 1889March 4, 1893 Benjamin Harrison
40 Richard Olney, Bain bw photo portrait, 1913.jpg Richard Olney Massachusetts March 6, 1893April 7, 1895 Grover Cleveland
41 Jud Harmon.jpg Judson Harmon Ohio April 8, 1895March 4, 1897
42 AssoJstcJMcK.jpg Joseph McKenna California March 5, 1897January 25, 1898 William McKinley
43 Griggs2.jpg John W. Griggs New Jersey January 25, 1898March 29, 1901
44 Philander Knox, bw photo portrait, 1904.jpg Philander C. Knox Pennsylvania April 5, 1901June 30, 1904
Theodore Roosevelt
45 WHMoody.jpg William Henry Moody Massachusetts July 1, 1904December 17, 1906
46 CJBonaparte.jpg Charles Bonaparte Maryland December 17, 1906March 4, 1909
47 GWWickersham.jpg George W. Wickersham New York March 4, 1909March 4, 1913 William Howard Taft
48 James C. McReynolds - c1913.jpg James C. McReynolds Tennessee March 5, 1913August 29, 1914 Woodrow Wilson
49 WP Thomas Watt Gregory.jpg Thomas Watt Gregory Texas August 29, 1914March 4, 1919
50 Alexander Mitchell Palmer.jpg A. Mitchell Palmer Pennsylvania March 5, 1919March 4, 1921
51 Harry Daugherty, bw photo portrait 1920.jpg Harry M. Daugherty Ohio March 4, 1921April 6, 1924 Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
52 Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone photograph circa 1927-1932.jpg Harlan F. Stone New York April 7, 1924March 1, 1925
53 John Sargent, Bain bw photo portrait.jpg John G. Sargent Vermont March 7, 1925March 4, 1929
54 William D. Mitchell cph.3b30394.jpg William D. Mitchell Minnesota March 4, 1929March 4, 1933 Herbert Hoover
55 Homer Cummings, Harris & Ewing photo portrait, 1920.jpg Homer Stille Cummings Connecticut March 4, 1933January 1, 1939 Franklin D. Roosevelt
56 Justice Frank Murphy.jpg Frank Murphy Michigan January 2, 1939January 18, 1940
57 Roberthjackson.jpg Robert H. Jackson New York January 18, 1940August 25, 1941
58 Francis Biddle cph.3b27524.jpg Francis Biddle Pennsylvania August 26, 1941June 26, 1945
Harry S Truman
59 Tom C. Clark.gif Tom C. Clark Texas June 27, 1945July 26, 1949
60 J. Howard McGrath.jpg J. Howard McGrath Rhode Island July 27, 1949April 3, 1952
61 James P McGranery cropped.jpg James P. McGranery Pennsylvania April 4, 1952January 20, 1953
62 Herbert Brownell.jpg Herbert Brownell Jr. New York January 21, 1953October 23, 1957 Dwight D. Eisenhower
63 William P. Rogers, U.S. Secretary of State.jpg William P. Rogers Maryland October 23, 1957January 20, 1961
64 Robert F Kennedy crop.jpg Robert F. Kennedy Massachusetts January 20, 1961September 3, 1964 John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
65 Nicholas Katzenbach at White House, 6 May 1968.jpg Nicholas Katzenbach Illinois September 4, 1964 [lower-alpha 1] January 28, 1965
January 28, 1965November 28, 1966
66 Ramsey Clark at the White House, 28 Feb 1968.jpg Ramsey Clark Texas November 28, 1966 [lower-alpha 1] March 10, 1967
March 10, 1967January 20, 1969
67 John Mitchell.jpg John N. Mitchell New York January 20, 1969February 15, 1972 Richard Nixon
68 Attorney General Richard Kleindienst.jpg Richard Kleindienst Arizona February 15, 1972May 25, 1973
69 ElliotLeeRichardson.jpg Elliot Richardson Massachusetts May 25, 1973October 20, 1973
Robert Bork.jpg Robert Bork [lower-alpha 2]
Acting
Pennsylvania October 20, 1973January 4, 1974
70 WilliamBartSaxbe2.jpg William B. Saxbe Ohio January 4, 1974January 14, 1975
Gerald Ford
71 Edward Levi Attorney General.jpg Edward H. Levi Illinois January 14, 1975January 20, 1977
Dick Thornburgh.jpg Dick Thornburgh [lower-alpha 3]
Acting
Pennsylvania January 20, 1977January 26, 1977 Jimmy Carter
72 Attorney General Griffin Bell.jpg Griffin Bell Georgia January 26, 1977August 16, 1979
73 Benjamin Civiletti (1979).jpg Benjamin Civiletti Maryland August 16, 1979January 19, 1981
74 Portrait officiel de William French Smith.jpg William French Smith California January 23, 1981February 25, 1985 Ronald Reagan
75 Portraits of Assistants to President Ronald Reagan (cropped12).jpg Edwin Meese California February 25, 1985August 12, 1988
76 Dick Thornburgh.jpg Dick Thornburgh Pennsylvania August 12, 1988August 15, 1991
George H. W. Bush
77 William Barr, official photo as Attorney General.jpg William Barr New York August 16, 1991 [lower-alpha 1] November 26, 1991
November 26, 1991January 20, 1993
Stuart M. Gerson [lower-alpha 4]
Acting
Washington, D.C. January 20, 1993March 12, 1993 Bill Clinton
78 Janet Reno-us-Portrait.jpg Janet Reno Florida March 12, 1993January 20, 2001
HolderEric.jpg Eric Holder [lower-alpha 5]
Acting
Washington, D.C. January 20, 2001February 2, 2001 George W. Bush
79 John Ashcroft.jpg John Ashcroft Missouri February 2, 2001February 3, 2005
80 Alberto Gonzales - official DoJ photograph.jpg Alberto Gonzales Texas February 3, 2005September 17, 2007
Paul D. Clement.jpg Paul Clement [lower-alpha 6]
Acting
Washington, D.C.September 17, 2007September 18, 2007
Peterkeisler.jpg Peter Keisler [lower-alpha 6]
Acting
Washington, D.C.September 18, 2007November 9, 2007
81 Michael Mukasey, official AG photo portrait, 2007.jpg Michael Mukasey New York November 9, 2007January 20, 2009
Mark Filip.jpg Mark Filip
Acting
Illinois January 20, 2009February 3, 2009 Barack Obama
82 Eric Holder official portrait (cropped).jpg Eric Holder Washington, D.C. February 3, 2009April 27, 2015
83 Loretta Lynch, official portrait (cropped).jpg Loretta Lynch New York April 27, 2015January 20, 2017
Sally Q. Yates (cropped).jpg Sally Yates [lower-alpha 7]
Acting
Georgia January 20, 2017January 30, 2017 Donald Trump
Dana Boente (cropped).jpg Dana Boente
Acting
Virginia January 30, 2017February 9, 2017
84 Jeff Sessions, official portrait (cropped).jpg Jeff Sessions Alabama February 9, 2017November 7, 2018
Matthew G. Whitaker official photo (cropped).jpg Matthew Whitaker
Acting [lower-alpha 8]
Iowa November 7, 2018February 14, 2019
85 William Barr (cropped).jpg William Barr (2) Virginia February 14, 2019Incumbent

Living former U.S. Attorneys General

As of February 2019, there are ten, living former US Attorneys General, the oldest being Ramsey Clark (served 1967–1969, born 1927). The most recent Attorney General to die was Janet Reno on November 7, 2016 (served 1993–2001, born 1938)

NameTerm of officeDate of birth (and age)
Ramsey Clark 1967–1969December 18, 1927 (age 91)
Benjamin Civiletti 1979–1981July 17, 1935 (age 83)
Edwin Meese 1985–1988December 2, 1931 (age 87)
Dick Thornburgh 1988–1991July 16, 1932 (age 86)
John Ashcroft 2001–2005May 9, 1942 (age 76)
Alberto Gonzales 2005–2007August 4, 1955 (age 63)
Michael Mukasey 2007–2009July 28, 1941 (age 77)
Eric Holder 2009–2015January 21, 1951 (age 68)
Loretta Lynch 2015–2017May 21, 1959 (age 59)
Jeff Sessions 2017–2018December 24, 1946 (age 72)

Line of succession

U.S.C. Title 28, §508 establishes the first two positions in the line of succession, while allowing the Attorney General to designate other high-ranking officers of the Department of Justice as subsequent successors. [21] Furthermore, an Executive Order defines subsequent positions, the most recent from March 31, 2017, signed by President Donald Trump. [22] The current line of succession is:

  1. United States Deputy Attorney General
  2. United States Associate Attorney General
  3. Other Officers potentially designated by the Attorney General (in no particular order):
  4. United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia
  5. United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina
  6. United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 Served as acting attorney general in his capacity as deputy attorney general, until his own appointment and confirmation as attorney general.
  2. On October 20, 1973, Solicitor General Robert Bork became acting attorney general following the "Saturday Night Massacre", in which U.S. Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus both resigned.
  3. Served as acting attorney general in his capacity as deputy attorney general, until the appointment of a new attorney general. Thornburgh later served as attorney general from 1988–1991.
  4. Served as acting attorney general in his capacity as Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ Civil Division. [8] [9] Gerson was fourth in the line of succession at the Justice Department, but other senior DOJ officials had already resigned. [10] Janet Reno, President Clinton's nominee for attorney general, was confirmed on March 12, [11] and he resigned the same day. [11]
  5. Served as acting attorney general in his capacity as deputy attorney general, until the appointment of a new attorney general. Holder later served as attorney general from 2009–2015.
  6. 1 2 On August 27, 2007, President Bush named Solicitor General Paul Clement as the future acting attorney general, to take office upon the resignation of Alberto Gonzales, effective September 17, 2007. [12] On September 17, President Bush announced that Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ Civil Division Peter Keisler would become acting attorney general, pending a permanent appointment of a presidential nominee. [13] [14] According to administration officials, Clement became acting attorney general at 12:01 am September 17, 2007, and left office 24 hours later. [15] Keisler served as acting attorney general until the confirmation of Michael Mukasey on November 9, 2007.
  7. Served as acting attorney general in her capacity as deputy attorney general, until she was fired after stating that the Department of Justice would not defend an executive order in court. [16]
  8. The legality of Matthew Whitaker's appointment as Acting Attorney General was called into question by several constitutional scholars. Among those included Neal Katyal and George T. Conway III, who asserted it is unconstitutional, because the Attorney General is a principal officer under the Appointments Clause, and thus requires senate consent, even in an acting capacity. [17] Maryland filed an injunction against Whitaker's appointment on this basis. [18] John E. Bies at Lawfare regarded it as an unresolved question. [19] The DOJ Office of Legal Counsel released a legal opinion, asserting that the appointment was legal and consistent with past precedent. [20]

Related Research Articles

Solicitor General of the United States

The Solicitor General of the United States is the fourth-highest-ranking official in the United States Department of Justice. The current Solicitor General, Noel Francisco, took office on September 19, 2017.

The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) is an office in the United States Department of Justice that assists the Attorney General's position as legal adviser to the President and all executive branch agencies.

United States Deputy Attorney General position in the United States Department of Justice

The United States Deputy Attorney General is the second-highest-ranking official in the United States Department of Justice and oversees the day-to-day operation of the Department. The Deputy Attorney General acts as Attorney General during the absence of the Attorney General.

Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation position

The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States' primary federal law enforcement agency, and is responsible for its day-to-day operations. The FBI Director is appointed for a single 10-year term by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate. The FBI is an agency within the Department of Justice (DOJ), and thus the Director reports to the Attorney General of the United States.

Matthew Whitaker American lawyer and politician

Matthew George Whitaker is an American lawyer, politician, who served as the Acting United States Attorney General from 2018 to 2019. He was appointed by President Donald Trump on November 7, 2018, after Jeff Sessions resigned at Trump's request. Whitaker previously served as Chief of Staff to Sessions from September 2017 to November 2018. Trump announced his nomination of William P. Barr for Attorney General on December 7, 2018, leaving Whitaker's future at the Department of Justice in doubt.

On December 7, 2006, the George W. Bush administration's Department of Justice ordered the midterm dismissal of seven United States Attorneys. Congressional investigations focused on whether the Department of Justice and the White House were using the U.S. Attorney positions for political advantage. Allegations were that some of the attorneys were targeted for dismissal to impede investigations of Republican politicians or that some were targeted for their failure to initiate investigations that would damage Democratic politicians or hamper Democratic-leaning voters. The U.S. attorneys were replaced with interim appointees, under provisions in the 2005 USA PATRIOT Act reauthorization.

William W. Mercer American lawyer

William W. Mercer was a United States Attorney for the District of Montana, as well as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice. In September 2006, Mercer was nominated by George W. Bush as Associate Attorney General, served as Acting Associate Attorney General until June 22, 2007; he resigned from that position days before his confirmation hearing was to take place and returned to his United States attorney position in Montana.

A detailed chronology of events in the dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy.

Stuart Michael Gerson was the acting Attorney General (AG) during the Clinton Administration, serving in the early months of 1993.

Rod Rosenstein American lawyer

Rod Jay Rosenstein is an American attorney serving as United States Deputy Attorney General since 2017. Prior to his current appointment, he served as a United States Attorney for the District of Maryland. At the time of his confirmation as Deputy Attorney General in April 2017, he was the nation's longest-serving U.S. Attorney. Rosenstein had also been nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 2007, but his nomination was never considered by the U.S. Senate.

The Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, et seq., is a United States law that establishes the procedure for a filling a vacancy in an appointed officer of an executive agency during the time before a permanent replacement is appointed.

Dana Boente American lawyer

Dana James Boente is the former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. He also served as acting assistant attorney general for the National Security Division of the United States Department of Justice. On October 27, 2017, Boente announced he would resign from the Department of Justice after a successor is in place. On January 23, 2018, Boente was named general counsel to the FBI by the director Christopher A. Wray, filling the vacancy after James Baker's reassignment to another part of the bureau.

Executive Order 13775

Executive Order 13775 is the eleventh executive order signed by U.S. President Donald Trump. Signed on February 9, 2017, the order changes the line of succession for the Department of Justice (DOJ). This order specifically reverses changes made to the DOJ line of succession that former President Barack Obama made in executive order 13762.

Steven Engel politician

Steven Andrew Engel is an American lawyer who is the United States Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel in the Donald Trump administration. Engel, who previously worked in the George W. Bush administration as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel, was nominated by President Donald Trump on January 31, 2017, and confirmed on November 7, 2017.

George Thomas Conway III is an American attorney and a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School. He clerked for a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit before becoming a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

Makan Delrahim

Makan Delrahim is an Iranian-American lawyer who serves as Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Brian Benczkowski

Brian Allen Benczkowski is an American lawyer who currently serves as the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice. Prior to assuming his current role, he was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis.

Jessie K. Liu

Jessie Kong Liu is an American attorney who is the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. She previously worked as deputy general counsel at the U.S. Treasury and served at the Justice Department.

Beth Ann Williams

Beth Ann Williams is an American lawyer who is the United States Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy. In her role as Assistant Attorney General, Williams serves as the primary policy advisor to the United States Attorney General and the United States Deputy Attorney General. Prior to assuming her current post, she was a partner at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis.

Jay B. Stephens is an American attorney who served as President George W. Bush's first Associate Attorney General.

References

  1. "3 U.S. Code § 19 - Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act" . Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  2. 5 U.S.C.   § 5312.
  3. "Impeachment | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives". history.house.gov. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  4. The common law further suggests that the U.S. President has the power to remove an official engaged in purely executive functions or whose duties immediately affect the ability to fulfill his constitutional responsibilities ( Bowsher v. Synar , 1986).
  5. Fandos, Nicholas; Benner, Katie (2019-02-14). "Senate Confirms William Barr as Attorney General". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  6. Judiciary Act of 1789, section 35.
  7. Cabinets and Counselors: The President and the Executive Branch (1997). Congressional Quarterly. p. 87.
  8. Cahoon, Ben (2000). "United States Government". World Statesmen. Retrieved December 12, 2008. January 20, 1993 – March 12, 1993 Stuart M. Gerson (acting) (b. 1944)
  9. Staff reporter (February 21, 1993). "Stuart Gerson's Parting Shot". New York Times. Retrieved December 12, 2008. As supporters of the Brady gun-control bill prepare to introduce it in Congress yet again this week, they find a welcome, if unlikely, ally in Stuart Gerson, the Acting Attorney General. Because President Clinton has had so many problems finding a new Attorney General, Mr. Gerson remains in office...
  10. Labaton, Stephen (January 25, 1993). "Notes on Justice; Who's in Charge? Bush Holdover Says He Is, but Two Clinton Men Differ". The New York Times. Retrieved December 12, 2008.
  11. 1 2 Ifill, Gwen (March 12, 1993). "Reno Confirmed in Top Justice Job". New York Times. Retrieved December 12, 2008. She will replace Acting Attorney General Stuart M. Gerson, a holdover appointee from the Bush Administration. Ms. Reno said he resigned today.
  12. Meyers, Steven Lee (August 27, 2007). "Embattled Attorney General Resigns". The New York Times. Retrieved August 27, 2007.
  13. "President Bush Announces Judge Michael Mukasey as Nominee for Attorney General", White House press release, September 17, 2007
  14. "Bush Text on Attorney General Nomination". NewsOK.com. The Oklahoman . The Associated Press. September 17, 2007. Retrieved September 18, 2007.
  15. Eggen, Dan; Elizabeth Williamson (September 19, 2007). "Democrats May Tie Confirmation to Gonzales Papers". Washington Post. pp. A10. Retrieved September 19, 2007.
  16. Perez, Evan; Diamond, Jeremy (January 30, 2017). "Trump fires acting AG after she declines to defend travel ban". CNN. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  17. "Opinion | Trump's Appointment of the Acting Attorney General Is Unconstitutional" . Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  18. "Maryland Says Matthew Whitaker Appointment As Acting Attorney General Is Unlawful". NPR.org. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  19. "Matthew Whitaker's Appointment as Acting Attorney General: Three Lingering Questions". Lawfare. 2018-11-08. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  20. CNN, Laura Jarrett,. "DOJ says Whitaker's appointment as acting attorney general is constitutional". CNN. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  21. "U.S.C. Title 28 - JUDICIARY AND JUDICIAL PROCEDURE". www.gpo.gov. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  22. "Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Justice". Federal Register. April 5, 2017. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
James Mattis
as Secretary of Defense
Order of Precedence of the United States
as Attorney General
Succeeded by
Ryan Zinke
as Secretary of the Interior
U.S. presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Secretary of Defense
Jim Mattis
7th in lineSucceeded by
Secretary of the Interior
Ryan Zinke