WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court is refusing to be drawn into a dispute over the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as the acting U.S. attorney general.
The justices on Monday rejected an appeal in a case dealing with gun rights that also included a challenge to President Donald Trump's appointment of Whitaker to temporarily lead the Justice Department.
The appeal claims Whitaker's appointment is illegal under federal law and asks the court to name Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (ROH'-zen-styn) as a party in the case, instead of Whitaker.
The Justice Department in November released an internal legal opinion supporting the legality of Whitaker's appointment as acting attorney general. Trump has called Whitaker "a highly respected person."
Former Attorney General William Barr has been nominated by Trump to again lead the Justice Department.