According to the Daily Beast, which first reported on the lawsuit, the senators are hoping a federal judge will remove Whitaker from his post immediately, allowing Rosenstein to serve as acting AG until the White House can shepherd its nominee through the Senate. The lawsuit comes after the DOJ's office of legal counsel affirmed Whitaker's appointment on constitutional grounds last week.
The suit, which is being filed by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is the latest and most aggressive salvo against the Whitaker appointment. Last week, the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel defended Whitaker's promotion in a memo that drew immediate criticism for its expansive understanding of the president's power. That view is in hot dispute, including from the state of Maryland, which petitioned a federal judge to stop him from serving on constitutional grounds.