Federal judge to DOJ: No, you may not dismiss this Fast & Furious case just because you feel like it

posted at 10:01 pm on September 30, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The last time we checked in on Operation Fast and Furious, the bloody and not-”botched” gunrunning scandal in which the ATF pressed American gun dealers into funneling at least 2,000 weapons to cartels across the Mexican border with no serious efforts to trace them, more of the trafficked weapons were still showing up at crime scenes as recently as this past August. Since President Obama asserted his executive privilege over Congress’s subpoenas for the Fast & Furious documents that the Department of Justice has patently refused to hand over (despite their ongoing insistence in no deliberate wrongdoing) and Congress subsequently held Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt last year, the Justice Department has been trying to argue that federal courts have no basis for interfering because it would mean that all document fights between Congress and the executive branch could end up going to court rather than being resolved through negotiation.

Of course, we are all at this point very well acquainted with the Obama administration’s definition of “negotiation,” which can be most succinctly summed up by “the other interested party not doing exactly what we want and letting us get away scot-free with everything,” and the judge wasn’t buying it. Via Politico, emphasis mine:

In a ruling Monday night, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson turned down the Justice Department’s request to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee after President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege to prevent some records about the administration’s response to the “Operation Fast and Furious” gunrunning scandal from being turned over to Congress.

“This case presents the sort of question that the courts are traditionally called upon to resolve,” Jackson said in her 44-page decision, issued more than five months after lawyers argued the issue in her packed courtroom and more than a year after the House committee filed suit. “Dismissing the case without hearing it would in effect place the court’s finger on the scale, designating the executive as the victor based solely on his untested assertion that the privilege applies,” she wrote. …

“The Court rejects the notion that merely hearing this dispute between the branches would undermine the foundation of our government, or that it would lead to the abandonment of all negotiation and accommodation in the future, leaving the courts deluged with subpoena enforcement actions,” Jackson wrote. …

Jackson called the Justice Department’s arguments in the current case “flawed and selective.”

The judge was careful to assert that her decision — essentially, to override the executive branch on disallowing the judicial branch from adjudicating their dispute with the legislative branch — had no bearing on the merits of the actual Fast & Furious case in question, but rather that it’s almost ludicrously over-the-top for the the Obama administration to claim that it would be somehow inappropriate for the courts to hear the case. Checks and balances, anyone?


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Inappropriateness really is one of the stupidest arguments against a case, ever.

Still, I’ve got a feeling that if the judge had been one of Eric Holder’s people and not a racist whitey, justice would have been upheld.

Bishop on September 30, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Someday?

Bmore on September 30, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Of course, we are all at this point very well acquainted with the Obama administration’s definition of “negotiation,” which can be most succinctly summed up by “the other interested party not doing exactly what we want and letting us get away scot-free with everything,” and the judge wasn’t buying it.
============================================

About Boinking time!

canopfor on September 30, 2013 at 10:15 PM

It took 5 months to make that no-brainer ruling?

I think I read this Judge was an Obama appointee. I fully anticipate that the case will get drawn out until 2017.

lymond on September 30, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Trifecta of tragedy–leaders Obama, Holder and Reid
Can this country survive them?

jazzuscounty on September 30, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Oops, I meant treachery! The tragedy is ours.

jazzuscounty on September 30, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Let me know when they give a crap what any judge says. Or there are any consequences for ignoring them. Demonstrated.

wolly4321 on September 30, 2013 at 10:18 PM

“I won”

BobMbx on September 30, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Can this judges decision be appealed to another more accommodating judge or jurisdiction?

mobydutch on September 30, 2013 at 10:20 PM

Hear! Hear! Tip the scale, indeed. Holder has been trying to rip off Justice’s blindfold and meltdown her scales.

Jackson called the Justice Department’s arguments in the current case “flawed and selective.”

Those two words apply to many things in the Obama administration.

INC on September 30, 2013 at 10:20 PM

Whatev’s – whatever docs they used to have that are pertinent are now shredded.

Midas on September 30, 2013 at 10:23 PM

I mean, wait a sec – Is this some minority of 1/3 of the federal government trying to exert its will or something? Doesn’t this impertinent judge know that Obama won the election or something?!??!

Midas on September 30, 2013 at 10:25 PM

I guess the darkest day in American history, according to Eric Holder, is when President Nixon resigned when faced with impeachment and conviction.

The Congress and Supreme Court really had no place demanding those documents from him.

malclave on September 30, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Love this flurry of non-government shutdown stories on Hot Air, now that a government shut down is the only story worth paying attention to. Deflect much?

Mr. Arkadin on September 30, 2013 at 10:28 PM

You’d think that the Obama administration would have read US v Nixon. Executive privilege is not unlimited, especially when crimes may have been committed.

Resist We Much on September 30, 2013 at 10:28 PM

The Department of Racial Injustice just got served.

Mojave Mark on September 30, 2013 at 10:35 PM

Oh Nooooosssssssss.
A Court is going to hear a lawsuit between the Legislative and Executive Branches?
The world is ending.

Another Drew on September 30, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Resist We Much on September 30, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Well, that was Nixon.
This is so much different – it’s The Lightworker!

Another Drew on September 30, 2013 at 10:38 PM

Love this flurry of non-government shutdown stories on Hot Air, now that a government shut down is the only story worth paying attention to. Deflect much?

Mr. Arkadin on September 30, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Huh, what? I think Obama would love it if everybody just gave in to him on all issues, whined about the shutdown, and then gave in to him on that too. But why should we? The shutdown isn’t going to kill anybody, but fast & furious surely did.

Fenris on September 30, 2013 at 10:39 PM

Dog Eater just signed an E.O that will continue to fund DOJ paper-shredders in the event of a government shutdown.

Bishop on September 30, 2013 at 10:40 PM

…criminals!…Department Of Jackasses

KOOLAID2 on September 30, 2013 at 10:41 PM

Government Might Shutdown, But Obama Administration Political Agendas Continue Fully Funded…

Holder: Trayvon Martin investigation is ‘ongoing’

— ajamlive (@ajamlive) September 30, 2013

Resist We Much on September 30, 2013 at 10:50 PM

That’s good, it’s nice to have someone make The Won prove his point rather than bowing to his decrees. Will they send it to Roberts?

Cindy Munford on September 30, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Chad Pergram ‏@ChadPergram 3m

Rep Alcee Hastings (D-FL): This gives new meaning to the theatre of the absurd. This is beyond ridiculous. #fnpolitics
Expand
========

Chad Pergram ‏@ChadPergram 5m

Reid going to Senate floor shortly to discuss the House GOP’s latest gambit. #fnpolitics

canopfor on September 30, 2013 at 11:01 PM

Crap,disregard above posty,..ugh!

canopfor on September 30, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Chad Pergram ‏@ChadPergram 3m

Rep Alcee Hastings (D-FL): This gives new meaning to the theatre of the absurd. This is beyond ridiculous. #fnpolitics

So sayeth the impeached, convicted, and removed Federal judge.

Resist We Much on September 30, 2013 at 11:07 PM

Courts should not intervene on political disputes, it is a central tenet of the philosophy of judicial restraint.

However, this is a clear case of a dispute at law. The assertion of privilege is not automatic or without boundaries, and the courts are the appropriate forum to decide the question. The main reason neither Presidents nor Congresses often go to court over such things is both sides fear the loss of power if the decision goes against them, so they prefer a negotiated settlement that creates no legal precedent.

It’s a good thing the judge decided to hear the argument, but it isn’t necessarily a good result: if Congress loses, future Presidents will have a greatly expanded privilege which will make oversight more difficult.

Adjoran on September 30, 2013 at 11:13 PM

You’d think that the Obama administration would have read US v Nixon. Executive privilege is not unlimited, especially when crimes may have been committed.

Resist We Much on September 30, 2013 at 10:28 PM

I have never seen anything that made me think Obama had read or absorbed any legal material that had to do with subjects other than racial discrimination or community organizing while at Harvard Law.

talkingpoints on September 30, 2013 at 11:13 PM

Love this flurry of non-government shutdown stories on Hot Air, now that a government shut down is the only story worth paying attention to. Deflect much?

Mr. Arkadin on September 30, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Because Hot Air readers can only possibly focus on one subject at a time? I think you are confusing Hot Air readers with Obama supporters.

talkingpoints on September 30, 2013 at 11:16 PM

There are other topics than a possible-but-unlikely government shutdown. Some are more important, like amnesty, which is still in the background. Others are just interesting, like this.

It’s generally worth clicking on Erika Johnson‎’s stuff because she isn’t always all about the distraction of the week.

David Blue on October 1, 2013 at 1:22 AM

Actual but likely ephemeral “government shutdown”.

David Blue on October 1, 2013 at 1:34 AM

I think we need tests in constitutional law and another for IQ before these morons are approved or hired.

pat on October 1, 2013 at 2:10 AM

Uh, Eric. Your line in the script at this point in the charade is ‘What difference does it make now?!’

locomotivebreath1901 on October 1, 2013 at 7:08 AM

Of course, we are all at this point very well acquainted with the Obama administration’s definition of “negotiation,” which can be most succinctly summed up by “the other interested party not doing exactly what we want and letting us get away scot-free with everything,”

Maybe I’m especially dense this morning, but isn’t the italicized “not” an error?

PersonFromPorlock on October 1, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Interesting to see the federal judiciary reacting to being ignored or bypassed. Just hope the appellate courts see it that way too.

Corky Boyd on October 1, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Where there’s smoke…

TMOverbeck on October 1, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Another couple of years for Deny, Delay & Deflect coming up.

RdLake on October 1, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Eric Holder is WAY too busy going after states that are attempting to PROTECT our sovereign nation from voter fraud by preventing us from making people show photo ID or Legal approved ID that they actually have a legal right to vote as a citizen and that they are currently registered in your state/county/city to vote.

FRAUD… IS systemic, it has infected our entire country!

ActinUpinTexas on October 1, 2013 at 11:08 AM

I hold no hope of getting the truth of any scandal during the next three years, but maybe after.

I still hold little hope, I think even when Obama is gone, the media will do all they can to make him the new Martin Luther King.

MLK was not terribly perfect either… (was that lighting I heard?) But they needed a hero to hold up as an example for the battered black community. And so presto: a hero is born.

And Obama is the next step. Proof of a progress that only happens for the top few percent.

I don’t know for sure, that they are making sure the rest of the black community stays too drugged and impoverished to function as free people, Democrats need them in their control, as a source of votes to keep them in power, but from the outside it sure looks like a form of slavery to me. A method to keep power.

They do just enough to keep them comfortable… giving little presents, like phones, and food stamps. So they don’t rise up against their masters. But they are controlled. And they make sure they have a barbarian (Republicans) at the gate, so they never feel quite safe, without the protectors… it is sick, but it is what I see.

And for reasons of deep corruption in the media and politics, which we barely notice and think we can overcome and have true elections… Obama will have been a great success, and the rest of us will never truly get a solid history of what really happened.

petunia on October 1, 2013 at 11:41 AM

May all in this administration have the coolest place in h.e.l.l.

avagreen on October 1, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Border Patrol Officer Brain Terry together with his coffin weight the scales every day that the crime goes unpunished.

The who, what, why, how, all unanswered to this hour.

This Fast and Furious crime has them all ready for a plea bargin.

Obama, Ms Clinton, Holder, and each and every one who is enableing the cover up of this gun running and the other gun running.

The two party evil money cult is up to its doubble dealing neck in this “ambush” of one of U.S..

We will force justice on the guilty.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 1, 2013 at 7:41 PM