Courts

Lindsey Graham Promises ‘Nuclear Option’ if Dems Filibuster Gorsuch

Yesterday Sen. Chuck Schumer promised the Democrats will filibuster the formal confirmation vote of Neil Gorsuch in the Senate after the barrage of pointless questioning during the hearings didn’t successfully blow him out of the water.

And now Sen. Lindsey Graham issued a counter-threat.

He promised Republicans will change the debate rules to suspend filibuster rights to completely shut down the Democrats’ attempt to railroad Gorsuch.

It’s gonna get ugly.

Here’s more from the American Mirror…

Sen. Lindsey Graham issued a “promise” to Senate Democrats if they filibuster the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court:

He’s vowing to change the Senate rules — the so-called “nuclear option” — if they block a vote.

“If you filibuster Judge Gorsuch, you’re telling President Trump and every other Republican, ‘We don’t care that you won,’” Graham said on CNN Thursday night.

“He’s the most qualified person President Trump could have chosen, beyond reproach in terms of his qualifications. It would basically be setting aside the election and denying President Trump his ability to appoint a Supreme Court justice and I will not let that happen,” Graham said.

Graham is so determined to get a vote, he went so far as to admit he didn’t even vote for Trump, but still believes he ought to get the nominee he chooses.

“I’m telling my Democratic colleagues: if you do not allow an up-or-down vote on this guy after what I’ve done in the past? And you don’t care about the traditions of the Senate? And you don’t care about President Trump being treated fairly? I didn’t vote for him. I didn’t vote for Obama. I haven’t vote for a president who won in 12 years,” he said.

“But the one thing I will not do is allow President Trump to be denied what every other president’s had the ability to do is nominate qualified people, so yes, I’m not going to play the game two different ways.

“I hope I never have to get (to the nuclear option), but I want you to know, I am not going to play the game where they get everything they want and we never get anything.”

“That’s a threat,” host Kate Bolduan interjected, “I’ll take that as a yes.”

“That’s a promise,” Graham said with a laugh.

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Courts, Politics

Boom: Gorsuch Schools Diane Feinstein on Second Amendment

During his final day of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Neil Gorsuch was pressed by Left Coast liberal Diane Feinstein to defend his ‘originalist’ perspective on constitutional legal theory.

In her questioning she reiterated the standard leftist line how sticking to the original Constitution is “troubling.” She argued that the Constitution is a “living document intended to evolve as our country evolves.”

This is pretty much straight out of the liberal manual for Democrats’ “whatever you want it to mean” legal theory.

Then Gorsuch took her task on the Second Amendment after she asked whether he agrees with the right to bear arms.

He hit back, “It’s not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing…It’s a matter of it being the law.” Period.

Here’s more from DC Statesman

In today’s confirmation hearings for Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) made some head scratching comments. In prepared remarks, Feinstein said that she found “this originalist judicial philosophy to be really troubling,”and asserted that she believes “the American Constitution is a living document intended to evolve as our country evolves.”

These comments make conservatives cringe and for good reason. It’s the same philosophy that has given us terrible judicial rulings over the years. Rulings should be made on law, not based on politics, emotion, or ideology. The framers of the Constitution put together a system where future decisions are not meant be made on the whims of the day.

Jusge Gorsuch firmly believes in the rule of law, as his idol Antonin Scalia did. To lose sight of this fact is deeply troubling.

Here is the whole quote from Senator Feinstein:

“[Judge Gorsuch] has also stated that he believes they should look to the original public meaning of the Constitution, when they decide what a provision of the Constitution means. This is personal. But I find this originalist judicial philosophy to be really troubling. In essence, it means the judges and courts should evaluate our constitutional rights and privileges as they were understood in 1789. However, to do so would not only ignore the intent of the framers that the Constitution would be a framework on which to build, but it severely limit the genius of what our Constitution upholds.

“I firmly believe the American Constitution is a living document intended to evolve as our country evolves. In 1789, the population of the United States was under 4 million. Today, we’re at 325 million and growing. At the time of our founding, African-Americans were enslaved. It was not so long after women had been burned at the stake for witchcraft. And the idea of an automobile, let alone the Internet was unfathomable. In fact, if we were to dogmatically adhere to originalist interpretations, then we would still have segregated schools and bans on interracial marriage. Women wouldn’t be entitled to equal protection under the law and government description against LGBT Americans would be permitted.

“So I am concerned when I hear that Judge Gorsuch is an originalist and a strict constructionist. Suffice it to say, and I conclude, the issues we are examining today are consequential. There is no appointment that is more pivotal to the court than this one. This has a real-world impact on all of us. Who sits on the Supreme Court should not simply evaluate legalistic theories and Latin phrases in isolation. They must understand the court’s decision have real-world consequences for men, women and children across our nation. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”

Watch:

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Courts

The Left’s Attempt to ‘Bork’ Neil Gorsuch Was an Epic Fail

‘Borking’ a Supreme Court nominee is the practice started by the left in the mid-eighties when Ronald Reagan’s nominee, Judge Robert Bork, was scurrilously attacked both personally and politically by leftist organizations and Democrats in the Senate until he was finally forced out of the confirmation process.

But the left’s attempt to employ the same strategy against Neil Gorush has been a non-starter as they’ve literally found zero dirt on him.

Here’s more from the Federalist

To “Bork” someone is to obstruct through systematic defamation or vilification. The practice slightly pre-dates the obstruction of Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court in 1987, but he was its earliest and most prominent victim. The campaign against Bork was run by leftist activists and Democratic senators and included publishing his video rental records and scurrilous allegations of reprehensible views, lack of evidence notwithstanding. It worked, to the shame of those involved in the efforts.

The practice completely changed the judicial nomination process, and its continued use is one of the reasons why Judge Neil Gorsuch is such a formidable nominee. The Borking groups have been working overtime for months to dig up dirt on the Colorado judge and have come up completely empty. They were reduced to running a story in the New York Times last week alleging that Gorsuch served a wealthy client well. The New York Times’ spin was evident in the headline choice — “Neil Gorsuch Has Web of Ties to Secretive Billionaire” — but the story didn’t raise any alarms at all.

The last ditch Bork attempt is a letter from one of Gorsuch’s law students. She alleges that in an ethics class, Gorsuch discussed ethics. I’m sure this will be devastating. Of course, the headline from NPR tells you how such stories get spun for maximum impact — “Former Law Student: Gorsuch Told Class Women ‘Manipulate’ Maternal Leave.” The piece is authored by Arnie Seipel and Nina Totenberg, the latter’s liberal bias being pronounced since her 1995 suggestion that justice would be served if Jesse Helms and his grandchildren contracted AIDS.

Multiple students report that Gorsuch discussed the topic of parental leave in the ethics class in which students were to think ethically about their professional behavior, but they differ on whether those discussions were problematic. Student Jennifer Sisk says, according to NPR:

Law professors often ask provocative questions in the course of teaching. When asked if that’s what Gorsuch may have been doing, Sisk told NPR, “It wasn’t what he was doing. This was second-to-last class, hadn’t been the style he had been using to sort of raise issues all class, or all semester.”

She added, “He kept bringing it back to that this was women taking advantage of their companies, that this was a woman’s issue, a woman’s problem with having children and disadvantaging their companies by doing that.”

Sisk complained at the time to a dean and says of her motivation, “I did think he was a good professor. But my interest is more with having someone talk to him and explain to him why he shouldn’t be making these comments in class, why he needed to understand what the state of employment law was, and why it was problematic for him to express this view of employment law to a class full of students.” She made a comment on Facebook when Gorsuch was nominated by Trump and liberal activists took it from there. Again, there are slim pickings for a borking, so they have to take what they can.

Continue reading…

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Courts

Dershowitz: Supreme Court Will Uphold Trump Travel Ban

Alan Dershowitz is a liberal’s liberal.

A renowned attorney at Harvard Law, Dershowitz has staked a claim as one of the most left-leaning constitutional experts in the country.

And now his fellow liberals are fuming at his latest prediction.

After pointing out that the injunctions by several federal judges on Trump’s refugee ban are ridiculous, he’s predicting the Supreme Court will ultimately uphold the president’s order.

And now liberals are scrambling to find a way to stop that.

Here’s more from Newsmax:

Federal judges in Maryland and Hawaii who blocked President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban overstepped their bounds by using his campaign rhetoric to justify their rulings, Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Saturday, and what’s more, he thinks the Supreme Court will uphold the ban.

“I’m putting my reputation on the line,” Dershowitz told Fox News in a morning interview. “I predict if the case gets to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court will uphold the major provisions of this ban.”

That’s because the ban blocks focus more on campaign rhetoric than constitutional law, Dershowitz continued.

“Focusing so heavily on campaign rhetoric and essentially saying, ‘look, if Obama had issued the very same order with it would be constitutional, but if Trump issues it it’s unconstitutional because he said some things about Muslims in the run-up to the campaign or Rudy Giuliani said some things and other people said some things,’ that’s not the way the law is supposed to operate,” Dershowitz explained.

Dershowitz said he believes the Justice Department under Trump is “getting smart,” as it is not filing its appeals to the Ninth Circuit court district, where it will likely get an adverse ruling, but to the Fourth Circuit, a “much more conservative court” that would be more likely to uphold the travel ban.

And if the case makes it to the Supreme Court, Trump will likely win his case, as the vote would be split 4-4, said Dershowitz.

Meanwhile, Dershowitz said he believes the courts, in ruling against both of Trump’s travel bans, are performing psychoanalysis, not constitutional analysis.

“There is precedent in extreme cases, where legislators in an in enacting a statute say things that you can look to the legislative intent,” said Dershowitz. “I have never heard of a case where the rhetoric of a candidate, ambiguous rhetoric to be sure.”

He also said he does not believe the ban is a Muslim ban, but rather focuses on countries like Iran, “the greatest exporter of terrorism.”

“Not only no vetting, but it sends terrorists out in order to kill Americans,” said Dershowitz. “Iran has so much blood on its hands of Americans and American allies, to exclude a country like Iran from the list would be absurd.”

Continue reading…

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Courts, Politics

Limbaugh: U.S. ‘On the Verge of Genuine Constitutional Crisis’

News broke yesterday of the intentions of federal Judge Theodore D. Chuang in Maryland to seriously consider mandating an increase in refugees to the U.S.

As if placing an injunction on Trump’s latest travel ban weren’t bad enough.

Now Rush Limbaugh is warning that we’re staring down the barrel of a constitutional crisis in which the executive and judicial branches are in full scale political war for power over the nation.

Here’s more from Breitbart

Friday on his nationally syndicated radio show, conservative talker Rush Limbaugh warned of a coming constitutional crisis should the certain federal judges continue to deny President Donald Trump the ability to institute his policies.

Limbaugh pointed to the precedent set by the federal judiciary’s effort to deny Trump’s travel ban and argued it could lead to other limits on the president’s powers down the road.

Partial transcript as follows (courtesy of RushLimbaugh.com):

We are on the verge of a genuine constitutional crisis because of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opening the door for this Hawaii Obama-appointed judge to deny Trump’s travel ban the second time going, and I want to get into detail as to what this really means and what the left is really doing here.

It’s not a legal dispute. This is, as I said yesterday, is a silent coup that is taking place that I’m sure has been strategized since before Trump was inaugurated. But the profound, devastating possibilities that result from this in terms of a president losing all constitutional — do you realize with this judge’s ruling, I’ll tell you where this is going.

Let’s say that Donald Trump decides at any time in the near future that he needs to deploy troops, and so he does, and so a leftist activist goes to a court, shops and finds a judge, like the guy in Hawaii, and claims that Trump said during the campaign that he was gonna do X Y, or Z, whatever, and the deployment of troops is not really for the stated purpose, and the judge could shut it down!

This judge’s ruling has — if the guy’s not stopped, if the Supreme Court doesn’t overturn this, or if Trump doesn’t just ignore it like Andrew Jackson did, then we’re getting to the point where the president, because of the judiciary, will have totally lost constitutional authority to defend the country because of this little ruling in Hawaii that was made possible by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. And it’s all about this idiotic notion that a presidential candidate on the campaign trial making statements is the equivalent of an inaugurated president stating policy.

But even at that the judge doesn’t have the right to do what he did! He doesn’t have the congressional right, he doesn’t have the statutory right to do what he did, because basically this judge shut Trump down because, in this judge’s opinion, Trump is a bigot. And anti-Muslim means bigot, and we are not going to allow our president to represent us this way is essentially what this judge was saying.

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Courts

Tyranny: Judge May Force Trump to Double the Refugee Limit

The federal judge in Maryland who issued an original injunction on President Trump’s second executive order on refugee travel is now upping the ante.

In a small footnote in his decision he left open the window on the possibility that he could actually order Trump to honor Barack Obama’s decision to allow entry for double the number of refugees Trump wants to block.

Unbelievable.

Here’s more from Redstate

U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang in federal court in Maryland is considering ordering the federal government to admit all 100,000 so-called refugees into the United States as authorized by former president Barack Hussein Obama despite President Donald J. Trump’s “Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States” issued on March 6, 2017, to be effective March 16, 2017 (the “March 6 E.O.”), which at Section 6(b) limits the entry of refugees to 50,000:

Sec. 6(b)  Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any entries in excess of that number until such time as I determine that additional entries would be in the national interest.

That language is very similar to that contained in Trumps first, and now revoked, executive order to protect the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States, which read at Section 5(d):

5 (d)  Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I determine that additional admissions would be in the national interest.

On March 15, 2017, Judge Chuang issued “an injunction barring enforcement of Section 2(c),” the so-called travel ban, contained in the March 6 E.O. While the injunction is limited to the travel ban, Judge Chuang’s decision, contains a troubling footnote on page three which reveals that the parties agreed to continue to litigate Section 6(b) of the March 6 E.O.:

On February 22, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction of S 5(d) of the Executive Order, ECF No. 64, requesting that the Court enjoin a specific provision of the First Executive Order. With the agreement of the parties, the Court set a briefing and hearing schedule extending to March 28, 2017. The Court will resolve that Motion, which the parties have agreed should be construed to apply to the successor provision of the Second Executive Order, in accordance with the previously established schedule.

That’s right, Judge Chuang may, after the March 28 hearing, decide to substitute his judgment for that of the President of the United States and decide to let in the number of refugees enter the United States that the president who appointed him wanted to admit, a number which the current president has determined “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

President Trump is well within in his authority here. The law cited by cited in the March 6 E.O., Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act, gives the President a great deal of authority to decide who is allowed to enter the United States:

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate

Judge Chuang is well on his way to provoking a constitutional crisis by engaging in the judicial tyranny being encouraged by the sore losers that still refuse to accept that Trump won the election.

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Courts, International

Deja Vu: Fed Court Blocks Trump’s New Immigration Order

After President Trump signed his second executive order on immigration, all eyes have been on federal courts and whether this new order would be blocked as the previous order was.

That question was answered over the weekend when a federal judge in Wisconsin issued a restraining order.

Since the second order was specifically designed to get around the courts, this almost certainly sets up a new war with the judicial branch.

Here’s more from Breitbart

A second federal judge—this one in Wisconsin—on Friday blocked President Donald Trump’s new executive order (EO) on immigration travel, while the federal judge who blocked the first EO is reserving judgment on the revised EO.

Trump signed EO 13780 on Mar. 6, replacing his original order (EO 13769), temporarily restricting immigration from several terror-prone nations. Judge James Robart of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the first EO. The San Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit kept the TRO in place.

Lawsuits have also been filed against the new EO 13780. The plaintiff states in the original TRO lawsuit—a growing list that currently includes Washington, Minnesota, and Oregon—asked Robart to rule that the TRO blocking EO 13769 likewise applies to the new EO. Robart released an order Friday stating that none of the parties have properly filed new motions in that litigation — and that he will reserve judgment until there is a relevant motion and the legal issues have been fully briefed before his court.

However, on that same day, Judge William Conley of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin did issue a new TRO against the new EO, holding that the plaintiff in that new lawsuit had a substantial likelihood of success on the merits, and would suffer irreparable harm unless the court provided immediate relief. This new lawsuit in Wisconsin concerns a man with a family member in Syria who has applied for asylum and claims that EO 13780 is thwarting that asylum request.

A TRO is a temporary emergency measure that typically lasts less than two weeks, only long enough to give a district court judge enough time to fully consider an urgent matter in a lawsuit. A TRO is only issued in extraordinary situations.

Conley has ordered legal briefs filed on an expedited basis for the next stage of litigation and will hold a court hearing on Mar. 21 on whether to convert the TRO into a preliminary injunction, a longer-term remedy that could stay in place for however long it takes to reach a final decision on the legality of EO 13780.

Although a TRO cannot be appealed, a preliminary injunction can, which could take either case quickly to the next level of the federal judiciary. The Washington case would go back to the Ninth Circuit, while the Wisconsin case would go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago.

The first case is Washington v. Trump, No. 2:17-cv-141 in the Western District of Washington.

The second case is Doe v. Trump, No. 3:17-cv-112 in the Western District of Wisconsin.

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Courts

4th Circuit Court: No Protection for Guns Deemed ‘Dangerous’

Lower federal courts continued their steamrolling of the Second Amendment this week in a decision that should put fear into the hearts of all law-abiding gun owners.

In what will almost certainly become a dangerous precedent, the judges ruled that guns the court arbitrarily deems ‘dangerous’ do not qualify for Second Amendment protection.

Here’s more from NRA-ILA

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinions in Heller and McDonald, many of the lower U.S. courts have been making up their own rules when it comes to the Second Amendment. Tuesday’s outrageous opinion by the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Kolbe v. Hogan is yet another example of this. In that case, nine of out fourteen judges ruled that America’s most popular types of rifles, banned in the state of Maryland, have no Second Amendment protection.

The Court called the banned firearms – which include AR-15s and most magazine-fed semi-automatic rifles – “exceptionally lethal weapons of war.” It compared them to the M16, which the court claimed made them categorically unprotected by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Heller. The Court called the difference between a machine gun and a semi-automatic “slight”, despite the substantial differences in function and form, so much so that the federal law regulates each in highly dissimilar ways.

And in doing so, the judges joining the majority opinion actually said that they do not consider themselves bound by the Supreme Court’s majority decision in Heller (to say nothing of their sworn oath to uphold the Constitution).

Heller, of course, concerned the most demonstrably lethal and crime-associated of all firearms: the handgun. Handguns are implicated in more deaths, and more firearm-related crimes, than all other types of firearms combined … by a very large margin. This was extensively briefed for the Supreme Court during the Heller proceedings, and no one contested that argument.

Moreover, the majority opinion in Heller did not shrink from these facts. The opinion’s author, Justice Scalia, put it very plainly: “We are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country, and we take seriously the concerns raised by the many amici who believe that prohibition of handgun ownership is a solution.” He continued: “But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.”

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Courts

Leak: Cruz Predicts Another Supreme Court Vacancy Soon

During the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz make a startling prediction that took everyone by surprise.

He revealed, “I think we’ll have another Supreme Court vacancy this summer.”

The question on everyone’s mind is whether he has inside information. And if so, who will be retiring?

It would almost certainly be a liberal.

Here’s more from Redstate

Ted Cruz has befuddled the masses today with a quote that is striking a lot of people as either odd, prescient, or indicative that The Zodiac will strike again (It’s me. I think that.). He says that there’s going to be another vacancy on the Supreme Court soon.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) made a pretty odd prediction Thursday: He said he believed there would be a Supreme Court vacancy shortly after Neil Gorsuch’s likely confirmation to fill the existing one.

“I think we’ll have another Supreme Court vacancy this summer,” Cruz said at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). “If that happens, as much as the left is crazy now, [Democrats] will go full Armageddon.”

There are plenty of theories in the Washington Post piece this excerpt comes from, but Aaron Blake of The Fix seems to think it would be irresponsible to suggest that The Zodiac Killer will re-emerge and somehow pave the way for Ted Cruz – who is totally not The Zodiac, you guys – to be nominated to the highest court.

I am not so burdened with journalistic “responsibility.”

…Okay, fine, no, I don’t think Cruz is going to knock off Ruth Bader Ginsberg to open up a seat. What’s actually going on is that there have been rumblings that Anthony Kennedy is considering retirement. These rumors have persisted for a while now, and with the legacy he’s racked up in SCOTUS – the Affordable Care Act, gay marriage, etc. – now would be a great time to step aside before Donald Trump comes in and mucks everything up.

People have also speculated that Ginsberg is getting up there in years, and because of that, and the fact that State of the Union Addresses happen past her bedtime, she might not make it Trump’s full term.

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Courts

9th Circuit Halts Immigration Case, Waits for New Trump Ban

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to honor a request by the U.S. Justice Department for a stay on further action in the courts on the case concerning President Trump’s refugee ban.

The request came after Trump announced he’ll be issuing a new ban designed to circumvent the courts which should make the first one moot.

Or it could inflame the war.

Here’s more from Breitbart

Late Thursday night the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered that it was staying further proceedings in the appeal of the Seattle-based district court that blocked President Trump’s immigration executive order (EO).

When the states of Washington and Minnesota sued, Judge James Robart of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) of Trump’s EO 13,769 in Washington v. Trump, which temporarily restricted travel from seven terror-prone countries.

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit affirmed, ignoring arguments that federal courts lacked jurisdiction to hear a case over an EO, that states lack standing to sue on behalf of their residents and organizations, and that courts should defer to Congress and the president on immigration and national security disputes.

The appeals court was voting internally this week on whether to rehear the case en banc, meaning that an 11-judge panel would reconsider the case. Given the heavy liberal balance of the San Francisco-based appeals court, the same eventual outcome was likely.

The U.S. Department of Justice asked the appeals court on Thursday to stay any further proceedings in the case, citing Trump’s announcement during a press conference earlier that day that he would issue a new EO during the week of Feb. 19.

Chief Judge Sidney Thomas of the Ninth Circuit issued an order for the court granting that stay, noting that Justice Department lawyers have told the court they will promptly inform the judges of new developments expected in the coming days.

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