Federal judge slaps down Darrell Issa over request for shutdown exception

By David Ferguson
Saturday, October 5, 2013 13:20 EDT
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Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)
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A federal judge was less than amused when Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) requested that a lawsuit he filed two years ago be allowed to move forward in spite of the fact that federal courts have been immobilized by the Republican shutdown of the U.S. government. According to Think Progress, Judge Amy Berman Jackson refused to consider violating the shutdown to handle the case, saying that it’s ridiculous for Issa to make the request, considering his caucus’ role in ordering the government to close.

Issa filed a motion as part of his House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s failed investigation into supposed misdeeds by the Department of Justice in the “Fast and Furious” operation. Issa is still attempting to order Attorney General Eric Holder to hand over confidential documents or risk being held in contempt of court.

The motion insisted that a “Contingency Plan provides that Department employees may continue to work on matters necessary to the discharge of the President’s constitutional duties and powers,” and therefore his actions against President Barack Obama and the Justice Department should not be affected by the federal work stoppage.

Judge Jackson responded, “There are no exigent circumstances in this case that would justify an order of the Court forcing furloughed attorneys to return to their desks. Moreover, while the vast majority of litigants who now must endure a delay in the progress of their matters do so due to circumstances beyond their control, that cannot be said of the House of Representatives, which has played a role in the shutdown that prompted the stay motion.”

In other words, Jackson told Issa that if he wants to continue his quixotic campaign against the White House and Department of Justice, he and his cohorts in the House should lift the shutdown order. Otherwise, he can wait for the government to reopen like the “vast majority of litigants.”

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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