Roger Severino, a last-minute appointee of former President Donald Trump, filed a lawsuit against President Joe Biden on Wednesday, claiming that the new administration does not have the legal authority to end his brief employment.
According to Severino, who received his commission to the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) on Jan. 16, the deputy director of the White House Presidential Personnel emailed him on Tuesday saying that if he did not resign by 5:00 PM his “appointment would be terminated.”
But he claims in his lawsuit that Biden has no constitutional authority to remove him from his post.
“The statute governing ACUS provides that his term on the Council lasts for three years, and the statute makes no provision or allowance for at-will Presidential removal. See 5 U.S.C. § 595(b) (‘The term of each member, except the Chairman, is 3 years.’),” Severino claims n his lawsuit, Law&Crime reports.
ACUS is an independent federal agency charged with convening expert representatives from the public and private sectors to recommend improvements to administrative processes and procedures.
Severino responded to the email saying he was “surprised” by the request and said he has not and will not resign his position. He asked to court to issue a temporary restraining order preventing the administration from following through on his imminent termination.
“President Biden has no constitutional authority under Article II to terminate Mr. Severino’s appointment to the Council,” the suit stated. “The Council does not wield any executive power—indeed, it does not wield any power at all as a purely advisory entity—so President Biden has no constitutional power to terminate Mr. Severino or any other member of the Council. President Biden’s threatened termination of Mr. Severino and his fellow members is therefore unlawful and should be promptly enjoined.”
Severino is married to Carrie Severino, the Chief Counsel and Policy Director of the Judicial Crisis Network. Carrie Severino, a former clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas, stood out as one of the foremost supporters of then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings in 2018.
Read the full lawsuit below, via Law&Crime.