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3 Senate Democrats press ahead with Whitaker lawsuit

HARTFORD — Three Senate Democrats who filed a lawsuit arguing that Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s appointment is unconstitutional say the Trump administration is using the partial government shutdown to delay the case.

U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii filed a legal brief Friday opposing a motion by the administration asking the court to stay the case because of the shutdown.

The senators argue that the administration “should not be permitted to use a government shutdown of its own making to delay or avoid judicial review.”

The three said Whitaker’s appointment violates the Constitution because he hasn’t been confirmed by the Senate.

The Justice Department has said Whitaker’s appointment doesn’t violate the clause because he is serving in an acting capacity.