litigation.

Federal courts around the country have been struggling this week to contend with truly hellish delays in the administration of justice. Almost every civil case that involves the U.S. government has been halted in the New York courts. The ACLU acceded to a delay in a challenge to the Obama drone strikes policy. DOJ sought a stay in a massive case regarding the proposed merger of US Airways and AMR and in the voting-rights lawsuit challenging the Texas voter ID law.

Nevertheless, the oversight committee filed a motion requesting that the suit against Eric Holder go forward, claiming that the “Department’s Contingency Plan provides that Department employees may continue to work on matters necessary to the discharge of the President’s constitutional duties and powers.” In other words, the matter was sufficiently urgent that furloughed DOJ lawyers should be forced to volunteer their services to work on the case without pay.

In an order yesterday, Judge Jackson made pretty clear what she thought of that argument. At 11 a.m. she granted the Justice Department’s stay, ordering it to get back in touch with her within two days of operations resuming, at which time the legal proceedings will resume as well. Judge Jackson made her feelings about the urgent need for this particular suit to press forward rather plain:


"There are no exigent circumstances in this case that would justify an order of the Court forcing furloughed attorneys to return to their desks. Moreover, while the vast majority of litigants who now must endure a delay in the progress of their matters do so due to circumstances beyond their control, that cannot be said of the House of Representatives, which has played a role in the shutdown that prompted the stay motion."

Fast and Furious: Judge Amy Berman Jackson lets Congress know what she thinks of the shutdown.

So Republicans force a shutdown of the government and then pee their pants when the parts of the government they want to use are closed. Apparently, Darrell Issa (R-Arsonist) has never heard of the Pottery Barn Rule.