Is The DC Circuit About to Drop the Hammer on Judge Sullivan?


I suspect that the curtain is being brought down on the clown show Judge Sullivan is the ring master of in the Flynn case:

Earlier today, the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued an extraordinary order — on its own motion — directing Judge Sullivan himself to file a response to the Petition for Writ of Mandamus filed by Gen. Flynn earlier this week.

In more than 30 years of practicing law, almost exclusively in federal courts, I have never seen a federal appeals court direct a district court judge to personally respond to a litigant’s motion, petition, or appeal.

As significant, in my opinion, is that the Order directs Judge Sullivan to address the Rule 48(a) issue in relation to the Circuit Court’s earlier decision in United States v. Fokker Services.

As many reading this are probably aware, I wrote extensively on the Fokker Services decision in this story and concluded that it left Judge Sullivan no choice other than to grant the Department of Justice’s Motion to Dismiss the case against General Flynn.  You can read that story here — Recent Decisions of Court of Appeals for DC Circuit Show Sullivan Must Dismiss Flynn Case.

Go here to read the rest.  Judges are to preside over cases, not to attempt to become litigants in them.  That is precisely what Judge Sullivan has done in the Flynn case, and why the DC Circuit has peremptorily ordered him to explain himself.  The term unprecedented is thrown around a lot in regard to the Flynn case, but this truly is.  It couldn’t happen to a nicer judge.

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  1. 10 days is too long. A lot of damage can be done in 10 days. 12 to 24 hours should have been the time.

    Judge Sullivan is EXACTLY the sort of outcome-oriented judge with whom the Democrats OPENLY proclaim they want to fill our courts, putting their thumbs on the scale of justice on behalf of favored Democrat causes and constituencies.

  3. Republicans can, at times, be almost as bad. For instance, Justice Kennedy has been a plague on the rule of law. That is why President Trump has been such a breath of fresh air. Although there are no guarantees with any appointments, the President is far and away doing a better job than any president in my lifetime. As far as Judge Sullivan, he needs to be impeached.

  4. “Justice Kennedy has been a plague on the rule of law.”
    Republican? He’s a RINO. He would have fit fine on the Warren Court. His opinion trumped the law and the reality of marriage of ALL prior times and cultures. A very poor Catholic with a poor understanding of marriage itself. Another dark blot on our family name.

    It’s funny, when he joined the Supreme Court and first came to our attention, my father and I both noted independently that he looks like a close family member (aka a Kennedy).

  5. Because of a handful of bad decisions, and I mean REALLY BAD decisions, in the defining culture war cases of our lifetimes, we tend to discount how conservative Kennedy was on most issues. Not sure he’d fit all that well on the Warren Court, where his somewhat solid views on federalism, alone, easily would have made him the most conservative member of that body, Justice Frankfurter notwithstanding.

    I’m not fan of Anthony Kennedy. And believe me, I have written my fair share of diatribes denouncing him for his judicial crimes against humanity. A Court where he was the swing vote was not one that was going to be one that was friendly to social conservatives on issues like abortion and marriage. But we shouldn’t forget that the door swung to the right far more often than it swung to the left, which was key on many issues related to religious freedom, free speech, 2nd amendment rights, etc., where one vote the other way could very well have eviscerated constitutional freedoms we hold dear.

  6. Anthony Kennedy the Supreme Court Justice had at least one brother, one Timothy Francis Kennedy, b 5 Nov. 1941 in Sacramento, d. Oct. 1981 in Sacramento.
    His father was a lawyer, one Anthony James Kennedy, b. 3 July 1902 in Mullen, Idaho, d. 1963 in Sacramento, there buried. Evidently, the middle name was changed at some point, as at birth he was registered as “Anthony Ignatius Kennedy”.
    Anthony Ignatius Kennedy had a mess of brothers.

    a. John J. Kennedy (b. June 1893 in Iowa; d. 6 Sept. 1916 in Spokane).
    b. Thomas A. J. Kennedy (b . Dec. 1894, Keokuk, Iowa; d. ?)
    c. Francis P. Kennedy (b. Feb. 1897 in Iowa; d. 8 July 1911, Spokane, buried Mullen, Idaho).
    d. Augustine Aloysius Kennedy (b. 17 May 1900, Colfax, Washington state; d. 2 May 1958 in Los Angeles, buried Sacramento).

    The grandfather was John Xavier Kennedy, b. Aug. 1855 in Ireland, d. 15 May 1919 in Manhattan.

  7. Not sure how it works in criminal prosecution, but in a civil case (assuming there is no counterclaim against the plaintiff or pending sanctions motion), if the plaintiff moves to dismiss his claims the judge has no option but to dismiss it. The entry of an order of dismissal is simply a ministerial act, and the court has no discretion. Maybe criminal proceedings are different?

  8. Thomas Sowell wrote some years ago that he was friends of a man well-acquainted with Anthony Kennedy. At the time Kennedy was appointed in 1987, the friend told him that Kennedy was weak and other-directed. My wager about AMK is that he was crucially influenced by the balance of opinion in his social circle (which wasn’t much interested in certain topics). Steven Sailer also suggested you look in the extended family of appellate court judges to gauge their understanding of how the world works. It’s Sailer’s view that appellate judges aren’t very familiar with unintelligent people, because the unintelligent people in their families are so due to peri-natal accidents, so you get rubbish decisions on the constitutionality of capital sentencing and such. I have a wager there’s a homosexual in Kennedy’s family tree that he dotes on.

  9. Art, very interesting. I’ve not done any genealogical research but your notes hit VERY close to home. My Grandfather, James Cyril Kennedy was born in Iowa in 1894. One of eight children, 7 boys one sister. Fought in WWI. Married my Grandmother in St. Patrick’s Church in GaryOwen, Iowa. Both of their parents were from Ireland

  10. Maybe criminal proceedings are different?

    A Judge friend of mine once related what he observed in another county. An assistant state’s attorney had negotiated a plea bargain which was rejected by a judge who had a nasty temper. The Judge said that he was not going to allow the prosecutor to do that in his courtroom. The prosecutor promptly wrote out a motion to dismiss with prejudice of the case stating that he was pretty sure he could do that still in that judge’s court room. Yeah, a motion to dismiss has to be granted by the court absent exceptional circumstances like bribery which are not present in the Flynn case.

  11. There was a family in Jackson, Boone County, Iowa in 1910 that fits that description, but not precisely. Mother, father, seven sons, daughter. Vincent, Cyril, Lester, Claude, Francis, Howard, Edwin, and Helen. The second child is a Cyril James Kennedy, born 25 January 1894 in Emington, Illinois (unaccountably listed as “James Cyril” on his draft card and “Cyril James” everywhere else). The draft card (dated May 24, 1917) remarks that he claims an exemption as a divinity student. Evidently, he withdrew the claim or it was denied. He was evidently in the service from 5 January 1918 to 31 July 1919, serving in Company I, 164th Infantry, 41st division. In January 1920, he’s living in a boarding house in New Orleans, working for a bank. Marries Marion Kingsley on 7 June 1920 in Dubuque (the registrar mistranscribes his mother’s name). Lives in Chickasaw County Iowa in 1925 (w/ 3 children), Cincy in 1930 (w/ 5 children), Cincy in 1940 (w/ 6 children but oldest child having moved out). Appears to have been selling insurance in 1930, working in a government office in 1940, and working for Wright Aeronautical in 1942. Died 20 November 1951. This your guy?

  12. Art, amazing. That’s my family! You just provide more information than what my father knew.

    How did you look that information up?

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