Damn! This moved fast. Just a little background. Being a federal district judge is a big deal. You don’t take orders, you give orders. A federal judge is one step shy of a federal appellate judge, and a federal appellate judge is one step below a Supreme Court Judge. And in the judicial world, Supreme Court justices tell God what to do.
Which is why the DOJ’s appeal to federal district court judge Aileen Cannon today was so striking. They started out in the normal manner, asking the judge to reconsider a portion of her ruling that barred the DOJ and FBI from looking at any classified documents, or investigating Trump. So far, so good, all standard. But then the DOJ laid down the law to a federal district court judge. If she didn’t reverse herself within 7 days, and grant their motion, then they’d take their appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and make her look like an idiot.
Judge Cannon must have been dreading that filing, and then she got it. And apparently she gave that filing her full attention. I have often referred to Merrick Garland and his DOJ providing a master class in the law in a filing. This DOJ filing was more like a kindergarten teacher guiding her students through the basica of the legal alphabet.
And it seems to have worked. Within 8 hours of the filing, judge Cannon released a posit to the attorneys on both sides to rethink their positions on the 100+ classified documents seized from Mar-A-Lago, and report to her tomorrow. Basically, judge Aileen Cannon blinked.
Judge Cannon is scared shitless right now. She knows from the public and media backlash, largely from legal experts, that her initial ruling was a nightmare. And her response is to petition the Trump lawyers to change their position and exclude the classified documents from their suit. Fat chance.
Judge Cannon is now in an untenable position. She knows that her original ruling was a disaster. Which is why the DOJ took the unprecedented step of presenting a federal district court judge with an ultimatum. Either do the right thing, or we’ll humiliate you in the appellate court.
You lie down with wolves, and you wake up with tooth marks. For once, it isn’t the federal judge that’s in control, it’s the prosecutor. 7 days judge Cannon. Tick-tock, ticktack.