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LA Times – Trump lawyers urge high court to bolster his power to fire executive officials

David Savage – LA Times: “The Supreme Court is set to hear a seemingly minor case later this month on the status of administrative judges at the Securities and Exchange Commission, an issue that normally might only draw the interest of those accused of stock fraud. But the dispute turns on the president’s power to hire and fire officials throughout the government. And it comes just as the White House is saying President Trump believes he has the power to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Trump’s Solicitor Gen. Noel Francisco intervened in the SEC case to urge the high court to clarify the president’s constitutional power to fire all “officers of the United States” who “exercise significant authority” under the law. “The Constitution gives the president what the framers saw as the traditional means of ensuring accountability: the power to oversee executive officers through removal,” he wrote in Lucia vs. SEC. “The president is accordingly authorized under our constitutional system to remove all principal officers, as well as all ‘inferior officers’ he has appointed.”…

But Francisco’s brief suggests the administration lawyers believe the Constitution itself authorizes the president to remove officials who wield executive power in the government. Last week White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the administration had been advised that the president has the power to fire the special counsel. On Friday the court agreed to Francisco’s request to participate in the April 23 argument so he can advocate for a ruling on the president’s removal power.

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