General Michael Flynn filed a Petition for Writ of Mandate requesting that the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit order Judge Emmett Sullivan to dismiss Flynn’s case, in the face of Sullivan’s refusal to do so. On Monday, as the appellate court requested, both Judge Sullivan and the Department of Justice filed briefs defending their positions. Sullivan’s was a disaster.
The fact that Judge Sullivan even had to file a brief is unusual. In the ordinary situation, while a writ of mandate requests an order that a judge do or undo something, the “real party in interest” is the party who sides with the judge’s original position. That party writes the brief.
In this case, however, both parties are on the same side, and the judge stands opposite them. The appellate court, therefore, ordered the judge to file a brief defending his position, and it expressly added that he must do so in light of United States v. Fokker Servs. B.V. (D.C. Cir. 2016) 818 F.3d 733, the preeminent D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals case regarding motions to dismiss.
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