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In Fast and Furious news

A judge has told Justice to turn over the documents. Why is sessions trying to vacate the orders?

6 Responses to “In Fast and Furious news”

  1. SPQR Says:

    The DOJ is trying to remove the decisions from being citable precedents.

  2. docmerlin Says:

    Because Sessions isn’t on your side.

  3. JTC Says:

    “Why is sessions trying to vacate the orders?”

    Further, why does that judge twice imply that it is purely political and tied to Trump? Seems counerintuitive.

  4. Patrick Says:

    @JTC: The article leaves out some details (shocker, I know).

    The Background: The documents were already (mostly) released as a result of a settlement agreement this year. I think some are outstanding docs, but they agreed to delivery on most of what the plaintiffs requested. The issue is DOJ now argues that they do not need to comply with the court order because the plaintiff took the March settlement.

    The argument is that the Judge is telling DOJ that a court order is a court order. Basically, ‘You made me go through this rigamarole and now you will heed my order.’

    The Judge’s point about the change in politics isn’t what it seems in the article. It’s not about Trump or Obama as much as the judge is pointing out that following judicial orders are not optional due to any change in DOJ leadership.

    Also under the covers here is the DOJ penchant for resisting any lawsuit until they lose, and then they drag their feet long enough that a “settlement” is taken by the plaintiff. DOJ then rushes up the courthouse steps claiming the court has no jurisdiction because the plaintiffs have dropped their case. This judge is sick of it, and he’s not alone. I hope we see more like him.

    Overall missing from the article is that the judge is exercising his constitutional duty to adjudicate against the Executive Branch. His point (well made everywhere but this article) is that a change in Executive leadership should not nullify the power of the third branch, and neither should settlements forced by DOJ recalcitrance. In other words, ‘you cannot walk away from a court order just because you got a new boss who is more cooperative than the last boss, or because you exhausted the plaintiff enough to give up and take what you offer. An order is an order.”

    As SPQR said, this is about precedent. While non-binding, the DOJ doesn’t want this one on the books, and the judge does. It’s less about Obama/Trump than about the balance of power between two critical branches of government. The judge wants the DOJ accountable and (maybe more importantly) he doesn’t want to see judicial orders nullified by “settlement” end runs that DOJ is famous for.

    Sorry for being wordy, but wanted to help explain as I understood it.

  5. JTC Says:

    Thank you Patrick, for explaining that what seemed like partisan politics was exactly the opposite.

  6. bob r Says:

    @Patrick:the judge appears to be a woman – Amy Berman Jackson
    Not that that has any bearing on the substance of what you wrote.