Monday, May 11, 2020

DOJ, MIchael Flynn and Judicial Independence

Since the 2016 election the human US rights advocates have turned to the federal courts for help.  The courts have not always ruled in favor of human rights advocate, but there were many victories.  Advocates often gave thanks for an independent judiciary. The judiciary has been the only branch of government that has operated within their original design as an independent branch of government. 

The Justice Department's attempt to unwind the convictions of Michael Flynn has a broader purpose than adjusting Mr. Flynn's conviction status.  Attorney General Barr is testing the process to determine if the dismissal mechanism is a successful tool in undermining judicial authority. 

In his exploration for a presidential campaign, President Trump tested how much he could control voters' mind by creating the "birther" movement.  What he learned was that through the most implausible of tools he could create a base of supporters.  This is DOJ's birther moment within the legal system.  How much will DOJ be able to manipulate the judicial branch through established legal mechanisms. 

DOJ's motion to dismiss the Flynn prosecution is a prototype.  And a clever one.  A presidential pardon would accomplish the same result but in an election year this route is a safer route.  In addition, this route  tests the court in determining if the method is one that can be replicated.  Judge Sullivan has been brought into a critical process.  Agreed upon motions are frequently allowed without intensive scrutiny.  But this motion is not like others.  Whichever way Judge Sullivan decides, the ruling will be historic.

justice systems, Margaret Drew | Permalink