Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Public Property

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia (Judge Kollar-Kotelly) has ruled against my former high school classmate

Before the Court is Defendant Peter K. Navarro’s (“Defendant” or “Dr. Navarro”) [18] Motion for Stay Pending Appeal. Defendant seeks a stay of this Court’s [16] Order granting summary judgment to the United States and ordering Dr. Navarro to produce “forthwith” 200 to 250 documents he had previously determined were Presidential records under the Presidential Records Act of 1978, 44 U.S.C. §§ 2201 et seq. (“PRA”), as well as requiring him on or before thirty days thereafter to meet and confer to discuss the search terms and methodology used, or to be used, to unequivocally identify Presidential records in Defendant’s possession. In florid terms, Defendant argues that this is a case of first impression and any ruling against him undermines key constitutional precepts of federalism. The Court disagrees.

Not his records

there is no “admittedly difficult legal question” here where “the equities of the case suggest that the status quo should be maintained.” Holiday Tours, Inc., 559 F.2d at 845. This is not a case of first impression, nor is it the first whiff of “tyranny” for the United States to seek the return of Presidential records (and only Presidential records) that are, by law, its property, not the private property of Dr. Navarro, as he now seeks to contend in framing his appeal. It is not a case of first impression that the United States seeks recourse through the courts. It is not a case of first impression that a court may issue a writ of replevin in favor of the United States. It is not a case of first impression that the courts utilize Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 64 to avail themselves of writs of replevin or similar remedies under the laws of a forum state.

(Mike Frisch)


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