Sean Spicer and Russ Vought have sued the Biden administration over their threatened removal from the Naval Academy Board of Visitors.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in the US District Court in DC, alleges that the pair is being unlawfully threatened with removal from the board to which President Donald Trump had appointed them in the latter half of his presidency. Both were appointed to three-year terms.
The Biden White House asked them to resign on September 8, according to the complaint.
“Mr. Spicer and Mr. Vought have not resigned and will not resign in response to President Biden’s request, and they are facing a threat of imminent termination,” their lawsuit said. “President Biden has no constitutional authority under Article II to terminate Mr. Spicer’s and Mr. Vought’s appointments to the Board because it is a purely advisory nonpartisan entity that does not wield any executive power,” they argue.
The pair seek to block the administration from removing them, according to the court filing. Spicer served as Trump’s White House press secretary at the beginning of his administration, while Vought was Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Vought and Spicer were among several other Trump appointees to various military service academy advisory boards who were told by the Biden administration earlier this month that they needed to resign or face termination from their roles.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the move at the time by pointing to President Joe Biden’s objective to “ensure you have nominees and people serving on these boards who are qualified to serve on them.”
At the time that the request to resign was made, both Vought and Spicer publicly pushed back. Spicer blasted the move as “unprecedented” and Vought tweeted an image of the request letter with the caption: “No. It’s a three year term.”
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