Legal experts are scratching their heads after a federal judge appointed by President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday he is delaying handing down his decision in a Trump tax returns case until other federal judges hand down their decisions in other Trump cases. That judge is a former Trump transition team volunteer and has donated to the Trump campaign.
District Judge Trevor McFadden of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia announced he will hold up his ruling in a case brought by the House Ways and Means Committee against the U.S. Treasury Dept. The case involves gaining access to six years of Trump’s tax returns. The law clearly says the IRS “shall” hand them over to Congress. The Trump administration says Congress has no right to investigate.
Trump tax returns case: US District Judge Trevor McFadden says today he will not rule on House Ways & Means lawsuit until after DC Circuit ruling in Donald McGahn subpoena case. Order: pic.twitter.com/LDDMio4Imc
— Mike Scarcella (@MikeScarcella) January 14, 2020
Back in August Judge McFadden pushed back against House Democrats, denying “their request to both expedite consideration of the case and to decide on its merits without holding a trial,” Politico had reported.
Last year over a separate case former Democratic governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean issued a strong rebuke of Judge McFadden:
Apparently the judge, Trevor McFadden, who ruled that trump could not be sued by House Dems over his executive order to fund his wall without congressional approval was a trump donor. Perhaps Justice Roberts would like to explain again how the American judiciary is not corrupt
— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) June 4, 2019
Law.com Senior editor Mike Scarcella offers this insight into why McFadden possibly might be staying his ruling: the judge “served as an unpaid volunteer on Trump’s presidential transition team.”
Judge Trevor McFadden is a former white-collar partner at a major US law firm who joined the bench in 2017. He earlier served as an unpaid volunteer on Trump’s presidential transition team https://t.co/kd0BDyC8iq
— Mike Scarcella (@MikeScarcella) January 14, 2020
Meanwhile, legal experts are perplexed.
Here’s a writer in residence for the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University:
I get it that this judge is new and Trump-appointed, but if he wants the public to have confidence in his very slow performance, he should state his reasons in a court order that everyone can read.
Otherwise, people might get the impression he’s running interference for Trump. https://t.co/s1EUVfFmzw
— Cristian Farias (@cristianafarias) January 14, 2020
Exec. Editor of legal website Above the Law:
Trump judge trying to look for a way to prop up Trump’s terrible arguments without looking like he’s a Trump judge. https://t.co/fzJ0HZue0T
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) January 14, 2020
National Law Journal reporter covering the DC courts and the legal side of politics:
McFadden scheduled a 3 pm phone conference on this today at 2:54 pm, per court alerts. Why did he suddenly get spooked about this case, especially since he heard oral arguments in November? https://t.co/lfY2aj70x7
— Jacqueline Thomsen (@jacq_thomsen) January 14, 2020
There is essentially ZERO connection between an interpretation of the US Tax Code’s privacy provision and McGahn’s assertion of privilege.
Judge McFaddedn ought to be impeached in 2021. https://t.co/essAfImjUs
— Jeff Hauser (@jeffhauser) January 14, 2020
Image via Wikimedia
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Trump Demands SCOTUS Justice Roberts Dismiss ‘Phony’ Impeachment That ‘Should Not Even Be Allowed to Proceed’
President Donald Trump on Sunday suggested that Justice John Roberts should declare that impeachment charges against him are unconstitutional.
In an appearance on Fox News over the weekend, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani first made the suggestion that Roberts could kick off the president’s impeachment trial by dismissing it.
“Great idea,” Trump wrote Sunday morning as he tweeted out video of Giuliani’s appearance. “This phony Impeachment Hoax should not even be allowed to proceed. Did NOTHING wrong. Just a partisan vote. Zero Republicans. Never happened before!”
Great idea. This phony Impeachment Hoax should not even be allowed to proceed. Did NOTHING wrong. Just a partisan vote. Zero Republicans. Never happened before! https://t.co/47oV6z4RQc
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2020
Trump’s DOJ Asks SCOTUS to Delay – Until After Election – Case That Would Void ObamaCare and Steal Health Care From Millions
Even while promising to protect popular aspects of the Affordable Care Act behind the scenes President Donald Trump and his administration have been hard at work trying to kill ObamaCare. The Dept. of Justice is supporting a lawsuit brought by Republican governors and state attorneys general that has already received a ruling finding the individual mandate is unconstitutional. The DOJ then asked the court to declare the entire law – all of ObamaCare – unconstitutional.
Now that case is moving to the Supreme Court, but the Trump administration knows if it kills the now-popular health care law that bears his predecessor’s name, they will lose the support of millions whose lives literally depend on it.
So on Friday the U.S. Dept. of Justice under Attorney General Bill Barr asked the Supreme Court to delay deciding if it will hear the case, so any subsequent ruling would be handed down after the November, 2020 election.
Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur breaks the news:
New development in the Obamacare lawsuit: Trump's DOJ asks the Supreme Court NOT to hear the case yet, saying that'd be "premature" as it bounces between lower courts.
If the Court agrees, the issue won't be settled by the justices before the election.https://t.co/1JmLteRK2P
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) January 10, 2020
Word is just getting out.
Several Democratic lawmakers:
President Trump doesn’t want us to remember that his administration is still trying to eliminate the ACA’s protections for people with preexisting conditions.
We won’t forget. https://t.co/cAyNJubAIB
— James E. Clyburn (@WhipClyburn) January 10, 2020
Wow trump is trying to get the entire ACA invalidated and is now asking the Sup. Court to delay its decision until *after* the 2020 election.
Don’t be fooled by this ghoulish chicanery. Trump and republicans want to steal your health care but pay no electoral price for it. https://t.co/ZRORZ9l2QG
— Bill Pascrell, Jr. (@BillPascrell) January 10, 2020
54 million Americans have pre-existing health conditions that would have made them uninsurable before the ACA. Patients and their families should not have to deal with even more uncertainty after years of repeal threats. https://t.co/unA8V7eeGZ
— Chellie Pingree (@chelliepingree) January 10, 2020
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