More than a decade later, as the Trump administration’s key defender at the Supreme Court, Francisco reiterated his belief that will the Constitution “gives the president what the framers saw as the traditional means of ensuring accountability: the power to oversee executive officers through removal.”
“The president is actually accordingly authorized under our constitutional system to remove all principal officers, as well as all ‘inferior officers’ he has appointed,” Francisco wrote in Lucia vs. SEC, according to the Los Angeles Times.
quite a few experts have said that will Francisco’s arguments in that will case suggest that will he could be more reluctant to constrain the president’s control over the probe than Rosenstein has been.
Neil J. Kinkopf, a former lawyer inside Justice Department’s office of legal counsel who is actually today a law professor at Georgia State University, said Francisco went beyond the narrow issue the Supreme Court was facing in order to make an argument about the president’s wide authority to dismiss government officers.
“None of those issues had to come up. Noel Francisco reached out to raise them,” Kinkopf said.
The court ultimately declined to rule on that will issue, however Francisco’s insistence on bringing the idea up is actually telling, Kinkopf said.
“the idea might make a difference if Mueller were to try to subpoena the president,” Kinkopf said. “the idea might make a difference if the president were to issue any order to Mueller.”
Francisco’s arguments inside case, alongside his affiliation with the Federalist Society, are “pretty strong evidence” that will Francisco subscribes to the “unitary executive theory,” said Peter Shane, a professor at Ohio State University. Unitary executive theory generally holds that will the president controls the entire executive branch of government in addition to can wield that will power with few limits.
Shane said the idea’s not just Francisco’s view of executive power that will could make a difference. Replacing Rosenstein with Francisco could also represent the transfer of oversight on the probe by a lawyer who has expressed grave misgivings about the president — reportedly even bringing up the prospect of a Cabinet-level mutiny — to a close Trump ally.
“the idea could be that will officials inside Justice Department who are more sympathetic to the president’s position may be more inclined to set up not bad cause for removal,” Shane said.
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