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A few comments about the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit’s order to Judge Sullivan to respond to Powell’s Writ of Mandamus

The Court didn’t respond on its own to Powell’s motion. They want to have Sullivan’s views on the table making his *own* case before deciding on the merits
That is going to force Judge Sullivan to put his cards on the table. Because he hasn’t actually denied the DOJ’s motion to dismiss. He’s just left it sitting there & invited “amici” to argue against it. That suggests he doesn’t agree, but doesn’t *say* it. Now he’ll have to say
“Within ten days” is by June 1, which is way before the oral arguments Sullivan scheduled himself in the district court (June 10). Suggests the Appeals Court wants this decided ASAP
The Court specifically invited the DOJ to respond to the Writ as well. Barr joining Powell’s side in arguing to dismiss the case will make it much more powerful than on its own, if he takes that opportunity (which I suspect he will)
The Court ignored two of Powell’s arguments - to order Sullivan to vacate his order appointing amici, and to remove the case from Sullivan - and wants to make it about the core issue: granting or not granting the DOJ’s motion to dismiss the case. This makes sense & simplifies it
The Court cites two authorities that it wants Sullivan’s response to address - Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 48(a) (rules on Dismissal) and US v Fokker. Both of these were cited by Powell in her Writ and both strongly support her case and that of DOJ’s
Some background on the three judges who will decide the Writ here
Overall, this is a positive development and will at least force Sullivan to stop playing games and address the core issue of the DOJ’s motion to dismiss, which he’s being trying to wriggle out of. Doesn’t mean Powell will win (that’s a high bar), but a good start

Good explainer here by @willchamberlain (and not just because I’m in it)…
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