Saturday, May 21, 2016

Wait: the Dept. of Justice Is Supposed to Do Justice??

The courts are slapping Obama's US Attorneys with reprimands and sanctions, from all parts of the country. On Thursday, federal Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas filed an extraordinary order in the immigration case (Texas v. United States), in which his earlier injunction against DHS' implementation of President Obama's directions to delay deportation of millions of illegal aliens, as affirmed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, is now before the United States Supreme Court, awaiting its ruling after oral arguments. The order will require (gasp!) certain US Attorneys based in Washington to take annual courses in legal ethics for the next five years -- as a sanction for repeatedly lying to him in his courtroom.

Meanwhile, in Washington itself, the US Attorneys defending the IRS against charges of selectively targeting conservative non-profits to delay or prevent their obtaining tax-exempt status also met with suspicion, if not outright hostility, from the appellate judges before whom they were arguing:
A lower-court judge had blithely accepted the IRS’s claim that the targeting had stopped, that applications for nonprofit status had been approved, and that the matter was therefore moot.

The federal judges hearing the appeal, among them David B. Sentelle and Douglas H. Ginsburg, weren’t so easily rolled. In a series of probing questions the judges ascertained that at least two of the groups that are party to the lawsuit have still not received their nonprofit approvals....

The hearing also showed the degree to which the IRS has doubled down on its outrageous revisionist history, and its excuses. IRS lawyers again claimed that the whole targeting affair came down to bad “training” and bad “guidance.” They blew off a Government Accountability Office report that last year found the IRS still had procedures that would allow it to unfairly select organizations for examinations based on religious or political viewpoint. The lawyers’ argument: We wouldn’t do such a thing. Again. Trust us.

More incredibly, the IRS team claimed that the fault for some of the scandal rests with the conservative groups, for not pushing back hard enough during the targeting. In response to complaints that the groups had been forced to hand over confidential information (information the IRS now refuses to destroy), one agency lawyer retorted: “They didn’t have to give the information to the IRS if they thought it was inappropriate, they could have said so.” Really.

An IRS lawyer rolled out the defense used by former agency official Lois Lerner that the targeting was just the unfortunate use of “inappropriate” criteria, but Judge Sentelle reminded the lawyer of the IRS’s vindictiveness. He noted that on one occasion the IRS simply shelved the application of an organization that had sued it. The agency “came to Court not having done anything to eliminate” the problem, he said, so “It’s just hard to find the IRS to be an agency we can trust, isn’t it?”

Judge Sentelle said there is a “pretty good case” that “egregious violations of the Constitution” had been committed, and he dared an IRS lawyer to “stand there with a straight face” and say otherwise...
In the Texas case, Judge Hanen was far more severe, but arguably so was the unethical conduct of the US Attorneys from the Department's headquarters who appeared before him. You may read his order in its entirety here, and there is an excellent background summary of the whole matter here.

What I find amazing is the alacrity with which the leftist news media have leapt to the defense of the "Justice" Department, and accused Judge Hanen of "violating the privacy" of illegal aliens. What did he do? He ordered the Government to file under seal a list of all the aliens to whom it had given deportation extensions while its attorneys were telling him in court that no such extensions were being granted, and that nothing was happening. Imagine that: their privacy is violated because their names and contact information will appear in a document that no one will be permitted to look at until the case is over, and then only if a plaintiff State makes its case to Judge Hanen that it needs access to the names of the immigrants in its borders who received illegal deferments in order to enforce its laws.

In other words, the IRS's intrusive demands into the names and addresses of donors to non-profit organizations -- information which it refuses to destroy now that it has illegally collected it -- are as nothing compared to a judge's order to file under seal a list of those who benefited from the Government's lying. Go figure.

Still other leftist sites don't see anything so wrong with what the attorneys did, since it was only to help out innocent "teenagers and young immigrants" who were "caught up in a bureaucratic screwup". Sure -- lying repeatedly to a federal judge is just a "bureaucratic screwup", and people who entered the country illegally can't be made to run the risk of exposure "to hostile State governments." Ethics, shmethics -- if you're a leftist, you do what you gotta do to get what you want.

Even a leftist law professor wonders if Judge Hanen has "jurisdiction" over the DoJ lawyers who practice in states outside of his own -- in other words, a judge should be powerless to remedy the consequences of a fraud on his court that injured twenty-six States, and must focus on just the attorneys in his own district (who, Judge Hanen found, were among the few government attorneys who did not lie or misrepresent the facts to him, and whom he consequently exempted from the sanctions he ordered).

Oh, yes -- and the Government itself? Turns out that it "strongly disagrees" with Judge Hanen's order. What did you expect?


  1. The practice of the Common Law by which the Prince is held to the same account and standard of process and evidence as the Pauper seems to have been thrown out the widely opened window of a high-speed train. Common Law and Natural Law are not so strangely un-common and un-natural in these days.
    So, when they rear their ancient heads, during these times, it is truly a "Man Bites Dog" story.

    As many readers and followers of the Anglican Curmudgeon know, this reader / follower lives both in Mexico and on the Texas frontier with Mexico. El Gringo Viejo is one of those who agrees with every step and measure made by this very brave Magistrate.
    This area is besieged by an invasion or inundation, of people exceeded only during the latter half of the Mexican Revolution or 1910 or the Cristeros' War of the1920s. Still in all, that period of demographic inundation into Texas was composed of people who understood that they were borrowing time to rest and compose, and that they were neither wanted nor un-wanted.
    Those particular people took quite a bit, but primarily only of that which was offered. That particular people adapted in large part over the years into a form of Texan (and American) identifiable with the whole;English, industry, thrift, cleanliness, etc.
    I would rate them, as did my parents,an A- in that aspect of applied anthropology.
    What we are receiving now cannot be given that grade. Their grade would be something like an "attendance trophy". And a large minority of those would not even receive that. Frequently they do not return to pick up their attendance trophy. They skip the hearing before an administration law judge from the Department of Homeland Security.
    With the catch and release policies in place now, almost all the Central Americans are given a "report date" six to eighteen months in the future; of course, 85 - 90 per cent never show up).
    During the 1930s throughs the 1960s the level of criminal activity among the Latin cohort of the population in Texas almost alway was within a percentage point or two of the "Anglo" cohort. (Truth be told, so was the percentage comparison with those of Black African ancestry. Both statistics were almost identical in terms of babies with only a Stork for a father.
    Cutting to the chase, as it is said, the law, when possible, must be interpreted and used to protect the those citizens and those legally present in the Republic who are not citizens, from the actions of people whose intent it is to steal, extort, and disturb the peace in various and sundry manners. People who do not practice citizenship and who are not citizens are not qualified for anything beyond "stop the bleeding" medical services, freedom from gratuitous torture, and a speedy deportation AFTER paying to the extent possible for any and all impositions delivered upon the locale and / or appropriate jurisdiction.

    The "Justice Department" was obviously playing the bureaucratic game of "slow walking" against a Judge whom they considered to be beneath them, both ethically and intellectually (as is the way of all those left-of-centre),
    Their problem now is to see if somehow the little personalities who were directly and indirectly involved in this "slow walk" legal tactics, up to and including Father Obamaham and Loretta Lynch, might be advised to look up and see if there Sword of Damocles might be swinging over their heads and souls.

    A vote "up" for Judge Andrew Hanen, a noble gentleman worthy of all men/women to be received. And, of course, a vote ''up" for Mr. Haley and the Anglican Curmudgeon for what has become an increasing heroic act....that of defending the Common Law and the concept of Natural Law, and the traditions that strengthen noble cultures.

  2. The judge has judged wisely, informing the public of the depth of corruption that has infected the DoJ and at the same time distributing justice to the miscreants. Bravo.

  3. I have the strong impression that no one has standing to discipline the Justice Department properly.

    From my other readings about Judge Hanen's penalty, I understand that he may be exceeding the limits of his power in issuing this minor penalty (ethics training). Does he not have the ability to impose more severe punishment upon the miscreants?

    I was excited when the good judge originally put a hold on Obama's illegal executive importation of aliens. But now -- as it has been with so many small victories over the last 8 years or so -- any such excitement has been doubly reversed as the bureaucrats, politicians, and press ignore the rules and continue to enact their hard-left projects with impunity. And what ever happened to the IRS's Lois Lerner, who clearly deserves to be tried for her actions against political groups opposing those in power? Are we all going insane? Does this insanity explain the success of Bernie and Donald?

    The weird helpless feeling I have just described is not unfamiliar to me. I had a similar sense of surrealism when my Episcopal diocese abandoned the clear meaning of the Bible. And I feel it every time I see the popular celebration of a man pretending to be a woman.

    This sensation can be oppressive, but my reading of Old Testament reminds me that this is nothing new. To the contrary, we are just moving back toward the old ways. And we live in a time and place where a large proportion of our countrymen still believe. We don't live in Gomorrah and I am grateful.

    I hold out hope for our country. I know from the Bible that God is at work, and I will strive to be joyful in doing what I can to further His purpose. Perhaps we can even re-establish reasonable rules to give the people standing to shut down illegal government activity. I have been reading about some good ideas for constitutional amendments. If all else fails, God always has standing.

  4. I read a very informative article about the options Judge Hanen had in addressing the Justice Department's wrong-doing. "Hanen clearly has the power to hold government lawyers who lied to him in contempt of court", but he has not chosen to do so. As we see often from Congress, it appears that Hanen also chose not to make use of the tools he has to rebuke the Administration. A shame.