The federal judge who ruled in favor of former President Donald Trump’s request for a special master to review documents that the FBI retrieved from his Mar-a-Lago home rejected a proposed “friend of the court” amicus briefThat was submitted in opposition.
According to the filing, which Hugo Lowell first reported on, The GuardianThe brief was submitted to former Department of Justice (DOJ) and state officials who have “served in Republican administrations and collectively have decades of experience prosecuting cases involving sensitive materials or advising on matters regarding the proper scope of executive power and executive privilege” — including former federal prosecutors Donald B. Ayer, Gregory A. Brower, John J. Farmer Jr., Stuart M. Gerson and Peter D. Keisler, as well as William F. Weld. Former governor of New Jersey Christine Todd Whitman signed on to the brief.
The signers sought to showcase that the DOJ’s search of Trump’s estate in Palm Beach, Florida, was not partisan — and that there was no need for a special master, given that The DOJ already had an independent filter teamTo search for privileged documents.
“[R]egardless of one’s political views, it is clear that there is no legal support for the relief requested by the former President,” the signers said in the briefThe following was submitted to Judge Aileen Conn before she issued her ruling.
The short stated that there was “no legal basis” to appoint a special master to review the documentsAccording to reports from, the FBI retrieved these documents. Law & Crime. Even if one could argue that a special master was needed to protect Trump’s attorney-client privileges, the signers said that the executive privilege claims were improper, as the documents were at the private home of a person who is no longer president.
Trump appointed Cannon to his position. This is not atypical; most judges allow amicus briefs, but some have been known limit their use.
But because the brief was signed by such prominent former officials, some have questioned Cannon’s rejection of the brief.
Cannon issued a single-sentence, non-paperless order deciding not include the amicus short. “Upon review of the Motion, the Court appreciates the movants’ willingness to participate in this matter but does not find the proposed appointment of amici curiae to be warranted,” she said.
Some people have deemed her order more political than judicial, since she didn’t mention the reason she rejected the brief.
“I don’t believe that I’ve ever seen a court reject a proposed amicus brief, especially from eminent amici like the Former GOP prosecutors Cannon just refused to hear from,” said Los Angeles Times legal affairs columnist Harry LitmanHe is also a former U.S. Attorney. “That’s now several bizarre & non-judicial moves, starting w/ her first announcement of intent to grant” a special master.
“That Judge Aileen Cooper refused this amicus brief is the punctuation on the outrageous and lawless order she issued,” Janai Nelson, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said in a tweet. “Fellow jurists should be outraged by these actions that undermine any sense of impartiality in this process.”
“I’ve been stuck on this all night,” lawyer Peter J. Tomasek wrotehours after news reports that the brief was rejected were published. “Why on earth would you reject an amicus brief? Accept it and ignore it if necessary. But saying no is so, so odd.”
Amicus briefs are commonIt is important, especially in high-profile instances where precedents could be established. Amicus briefs are filed by people who are not parties to a case but have strong interest in its outcome.
Their inclusion in court documents — or, in this case, their exclusion — can also sometimes be cited by appeals court judges.
Cannon’s decision to allow a special master to review the documents, fulfilling Trump’s special request two weeks after the search occurred, Many legal scholars were able to question the validity of the statement.. Her acceptance of Trump’s argument that he, as a former president can assert certain aspects of executive privilege was also controversial. set a dangerous precedent.
Cannon’s ruling was “an unprecedented intervention by a federal district judge into the middle of an ongoing federal criminal and national security investigation,” said Stephen I. VladeckProfessor of law at the University of Texas,