Thursday’s 10-page opinion by U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon denying the government’s motion for a stay in the Mar-a-Lago documents case is being savaged by commentators in terms normally reserved for grotesque transgressions of justice like the infamous Dred Scott Supreme Court decision.
Respected and generally sober legal analysts have called it an atrocity, “legally and practically incoherent,” “dangerous garbage,” and declared Cannon “a partisan hack.” “No honest and competent legal analyst could have ruled as she did,” tweeted Harvard Law’s Laurence Tribe.
Could the opinion really be that bad?
In a word, yes.
The opinion’s essential flaws go well beyond straining the law and stretching facts in favor of Donald Trump. The ruling rests on the most basic dereliction of judicial responsibility, and it represents a complete departure from the bedrock principle of separation of powers. [Continue reading…]