A “Use Injunction” Against Trump And Barr — And Their “Star Chamber” — Is Warranted In Federal (DC Dist.) NAACP Case.

The able USDC Judge Bates in DC has ordered that Trump and Barr may not use their “star chamber report” — at least for now. [The irony of law enforcement “commissions” ignoring well settled federal statutory law, about conducting meetings in the open, so that “We, the People” may have input. . . (and meeting in clandestine fashion) is. . . well, palpable.]

It is time now to decide whether that state of affairs will become. . . permanent. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund capably argues that it should. I agree. These violations of open meetings, and “fair balance” federal laws were not inadvertent or incidental — they were knowing and willful. Here is the Judge’s order, and the NAACP’s fine memo of law. And a bit more, from the pen of USDC Judge Bates:

. . . .[NAACP] LDF is thus entitled to writs of mandamus compelling defendants Keith, Sullivan, and the Commission to file a charter with the necessary entities as required by 5 U.S.C. app. 2 § 9(c) and to provide timely notice of its meetings going forward as required by 5 U.S.C. app. 2 § 10(a)(2). LDF is also entitled to injunctive relief requiring defendant Barr to appoint a designated federal officer as required by 5 U.S.C. app. 2 § 10(e) and 41 C.F.R. § 102-3.120. Further, LDF is entitled to injunctive relief requiring defendant Barr to ensure the Commission has a fairly balanced membership. The Court will order the parties to submit briefing on proposed remedial orders to determine the precise content of that injunction and any other relief. In the meantime, the Court will order that Commission proceedings be halted and that defendants may not submit, publish, or rely on any report or recommendations produced by the Commission until the requirements of FACA are satisfied. . . .

[As The LDF argues, now: The Barr] Commission never responded to Plaintiff’s concerns, and instead held at least 38 hearings after Plaintiff’s first letter dated March 31, 2020. After receiving no substantive response to its letters, Plaintiff brought suit on April 30, 2020. The Commission continued holding closed door hearings and in fact accelerated its pace of work. Although Defendant Attorney General William P. Barr instructed the Commission to complete its report by October 28, 2020, the Commission appears to have submitted the report to the Attorney General two months ahead of schedule. See Dkt. No. 40-12. One working group member noted that the secrecy and speed with which the Commission was creating the report seemed to indicate the Commission was designed to justify a predetermined set of conclusions, not engage in a truly rigorous study of law enforcement and justice. . . .

Defendants must not be able to publish or rely on the Commission’s recommendations without full remedy of the FACA violations. Indeed, this Court has already ordered as much. See Dkt. No. 44 at 2–3. And, given the breadth of the FACA violations and the fact that the existing Commission has already completed its work, a use injunction is the only viable remedy. Such an injunction would still allow the Commission to use work product that has already been completed (such as hearing transcripts), but only if the Commission takes specific and concrete steps to — as much as reasonably practicable — restart its inquiry afresh with a newly constituted membership that complies with FACA. . . .

Compare that, to the Trumper lawyers telling a sitting USDC Judge, that despite the above commands (in blue) of the court’s own orders — these laws are only for the “little people” — they don’t apply. . . to Mayo- SapiensTM. [My new favorite “Urban Dictionary” euphemism — for entitled medicore old. . . white guys.]

नमस्ते

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