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Dems might be able to block retired Gen. 'Mad Dog' Mattis' confirmation as secretary of defense

President-elect Donald Trump shakes hands with retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis as he leaves Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, New Jersey, Nov. 19. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President-elect Donald Trump has announced that retired Marine Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis is his pick for secretary of defense. There's just one problem: Mattis isn't legally eligible to hold the position without a waiver from the Senate. And now some Senate Democrats are signaling they will oppose any move to grant Mattis that waiver.

According to a federal statute, "A person may not be appointed as Secretary of Defense within seven years after relief from active duty as a commissioned officer of a regular component of an armed force." Mattis retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2013, making him ineligible for the post until at least 2020.

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