In a remarkable legal challenge, former Attorney General Ed Meese, alongside two esteemed constitutional scholars, has filed a brief to the Supreme Court, contesting the constitutional legitimacy of Jack Smith's appointment as special counsel.
This contentious assertion raises significant questions about the legal foundations of Smith's authority and his role in high-profile cases, including those involving former President Donald Trump. The crux of their argument lies in what they perceive as a violation of the Constitution's Appointments Clause.
They argue that Smith, in his current capacity, does not possess the legal mandate to represent the United States in the nation's highest court. This is primarily due to the lack of a formally recognized office under his appointment, a critical requirement as outlined in the Constitution.
The trio further contends that the establishment of federal offices falls exclusively within the purview of Congress, a standard they believe has been bypassed in Smith's case.
Contesting Smith's Legitimacy
In their detailed amicus brief, the challengers assert, “Even if one somehow thinks that existing statutes authorize appointment of stand-alone special counsels with the full power of a U.S.
Attorney, Smith was not properly appointed to such an ‘office.’” This statement underscores their belief that Attorney General Merrick Garland's appointment of Smith oversteps legal boundaries and existing statutes.
The implications of their argument extend far beyond the procedural. The brief suggests that should Smith's appointment be deemed unconstitutional, it would render all actions taken under his authority, including prosecutions and investigations against notable figures like Donald Trump, null and void.
This raises potential upheavals in several ongoing high-profile legal proceedings. Drawing a vivid analogy to illustrate their point, the brief states, “Improperly appointed, he has no more authority to represent the United States in this Court than Bryce Harper, Taylor Swift, or Jeff Bezos”.
This comparison strikingly conveys their stance on the legitimacy of Smith's role. As this legal challenge unfolds, it not only scrutinizes the appointment of a key figure in contemporary political investigations but also invites a broader discussion on the constitutional boundaries of federal appointments.
The Supreme Court's response to this challenge could have far-reaching consequences on the interpretation of the Appointments Clause and the structure of federal oversight in the United States.