Updating an Article About the DC Circuit Court in a Trump Case

In the Jan 6 election case the appellate panel is being proactive on the issue of jurisdiction

Gippolito Ndp

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

A few days ago I published an article talking about a recent amicus brief by an entity called American Oversight in the Trump Jan 6 election interference case.

In that piece I suggested it was likely that the court would want to hear from the parties about that issue at the oral argument set for January 9th, as it was not something raised in the briefing — but was clearly a serious issue to be addressed.

In short, the argument (about jurisdiction, though there are other issues raised in the amici as well) goes that under still hale Supreme Court authority, the court does not actually have jurisdiction to entertain Trump’s motion at this time, and the case should be remanded to the US District Court for trial proceedings.

Just today, the DC Circuit issued this order:

Screenshot by author, from Just Security, accessed 1/2/24

Given the very persuasive analysis of the issue by American Oversight, and the fact that the controlling SCOTUS case (opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia in 1989, BTW) is still good law — and should be (I say should be) controlling precedent resulting, that’s one oral argument I’d really like to see.

After all the crap from Trump and his legal team about 1) absolute immunity and 2) double jeopardy — raised in no small part to simply delay the March 4th trial currently set — what kind of justice would it be if the DC Circuit simply follows the jurisdictional precedent and remands to Judge Chutkan for trial as required?

Justice too long in coming, that’s the kind of justice — and very welcome it will be to believers in the rule of law.

Please take care of yourselves and others and stay healthy and strong.

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Gippolito Ndp

Dad, G-dad, veteran, semi-retired lawyer, archaeologist, writer