Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Liberals vs. EAC - DOJ Earns Wrath of Judge Leon - Part 3

For the last few days we have been watching the DOJ refuse to assist the EAC, supposedly its client, to the point that the case now has Defendant-Intervenors in the form of the Secretary of State of Kansas and the Public Interest Legal Foundation. Clearly unimpressed with what he was seeing, Judge Leon wrote a brief order denying the request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) which we shared yesterday. It was fairly standard except for the one and only footnote in the document that can best be described as hilarious. 

National Review has continued to report on the action:

Judge Leon said in a four-page order that because “the registration deadlines for the Alabama and Georgia primaries and for the Kansas Republican Caucus had already passed at the time this TRO motion was filed . . . and that the effects of the [EAC’s] actions on the ongoing registration process for the Kansas Democratic Caucus . . . are uncertain at best, plaintiffs have not demonstrated they will suffer irreparable harm” before the scheduled March 9 hearing on the request for a Preliminary Injunction. Judge Leon was also “not yet convinced that plaintiffs have demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on the merits and looks forward to the benefit of full, adversarial briefing on the complex and important issues this case presents.”

[. . .] Judge Leon castigated DOJ during the hearing and added a footnote to his four-page order about the behavior of Justice after he said he expect a “full, adversarial briefing”: 
The Court provided defendants ample opportunity to submit a written opposition to plaintiffs’ Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction…Defendant’s counsel, the Department of Justice’s Federal Programs Branch, took the time but upon the deadline submitted a short brief taking the extraordinary step of consenting to plaintiffs’ request — not for a TRO but for a preliminary injunction! 
The emphasis in that last quote is from Judge Leon, making it quite clear he was very critical of the Justice Department’s failure to carry out its duty to defend its client — the EAC.

[F]or a judge to refuse to accept a consent agreement of the lawyers in a case who are representing the plaintiffs and supposedly representing the defendants is almost unprecedented. And that footnote is an obvious warning to the Justice Department about its misbehavior in the case.

Judge Leon denied the request for a TRO, and sent a clear message to the DOJ. Most watching are very curious to see what will happen at the hearing on March 9 given the events that have transpired thus far. The DOJ should note what Judge Leon is saying. Otherwise, this will likely get ugly.  

Further proving DOJ's failure to its client, today the EAC requested approval to hire outside counsel from both the court and Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

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