Summary: FPC v. Whitaker is a federal constitutional, statutory, and APA challenge to the DOJ/ATF ban on "bump-stock" devices brought President Trump's ban on "bump stock" devices by executive fiat
- The President’s Designation of Matthew Whitaker Violated the Constitution's Appointments Clause
- The President unconstitutionally assigned the Attorney General’s responsibilities to a non-officer
- The President’s designation of Mr. Whitaker violated the Appointments Clause because he is serving as a principal officer
- The Government’s arguments defending Mr. Whitaker’s service under the Appointments Clause are non-responsive
- Applying the canon of constitutional avoidance, the Vacancies Act is fairly read not to give the President the power to appoint a non-confirmed official in these circumstances
- The AG Act automatically designates the Deputy Attorney General as the Acting Attorney General
- The Government’s contrary arguments are unpersuasive
Plaintiffs: Firearms Policy Coalition
Defendants: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, ATF Acting Director Thomas Brandon, United States of America
- Tom Goldstein is an appellate advocate, best known as one of the nation’s most experienced Supreme Court practitioners. In addition to practicing law, Tom has taught Supreme Court Litigation at Harvard Law School since 2004, and previously taught the same subject at Stanford Law School for nearly a decade. Tom is also the co-founder and publisher of SCOTUSblog – a web-site devoted to comprehensive coverage of the Court – which is the only weblog ever to receive the Peabody Award.
- Daniel Woofter joined Goldstein & Russell after completing clerkships for the Honorable Pamela A. Harris of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the Honorable Judith E. Levy for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Before his clerkships, Daniel was an associate at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, where he worked on commercial litigation, as well as civil rights and asylum cases. Daniel graduated from Georgetown University Law Center. At Georgetown, he served as an Executive Editor of the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics.
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Key Events & Filings:
2019-2-6: Hearing on Motion for Preliminary Injunction set for 2:00 p.m. before District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia 333 Constitution Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20001)
2019-1-8: Cases 18-cv-2988 (Guedes v. BATFE) and 18-cv-3083 (FPC v. Whitaker) consolidated pursuant to Minute Order entered on 1/8/2019. All further filings made only in the lead case No. 18-cv-2988.
2018-12-26: Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief
2018-12-18: ATF/DOJ Final Rule Banning Bump-Stock Devices
Related Press Releases:
- December 26, 2018: FPC Counsel Goldstein & Russell, P.C. Files Federal Lawsuit Challenging Acting A.G. Whitaker, ATF Bump-Stock Ban
- June 27, 2018: Attorneys for FPC, FPF file 923-page opposition to ATF's illegal 'bump-stock' ban proposal, demand hearing - http://bit.ly/fpc-2018-6-27-bumpstock-regs-opposition
- Feb. 26, 2018: President Trump Says He Will ‘Write Out’ Bump Stocks Without Congress; Two Second Amendment Groups Initiate Legal Action to Oppose Ban - http://bit.ly/fpc-2018-2-26-trump-bumpstocks
- Feb. 20, 2018: FPC Calls President Trump’s ‘Bump Stock’ Ban “Lawless” - http://bit.ly/fpc-2018-2-20-trump-ban-lawless
- Jan. 25, 2018: FPC Says ATF ‘Bump Stock’ Regulation Proposal is “Illegal” - http://bit.ly/fpc-2018-1-25-bumpstock-ban-illegal
- Oct. 6, 2017: Firearms Policy Coalition Repudiates Proposed Bans on Semi-Automatic Firearms and Accessories, Including “Bump Fire” Stocks - http://bit.ly/fpc-2017-10-6-bumpstocks