Skip to comments.Judge: Courts can play role in Fast and Furious investigation (10/03/2013)
Posted on 01/02/2014 12:37:14 PM PST by SandRat
PHOENIX A federal judge has rejected arguments by the Department of Justice that she cannot intercede in a congressional bid to investigate how and why the agency first lied about the Operation Fast and Furious gun walking operation in Arizona.
Judge Amy B. Jackson said federal courts are entitled to determine whether the Obama administration is wrongfully withholding documents from a House panel looking into the now-abandoned practice of letting illegally purchased weapons make their way to Mexico.
That practice came to light when walked guns ended up at the scene where Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in 2010.
In her ruling this week, Jackson said the fact the dispute may have political elements is legally irrelevant.
More significant, Jackson said just because the fight is between two other branches of government does not deprive courts of their role in deciding who is right.
Supreme Court precedent establishes that the third branch has an equally fundamental role to play, and that judges not only may, but sometimes must, exercise their responsibility to interpret the Constitution and determine whether another branch has exceeded its power, she wrote.
And Jackson called the Department of Justice contentions that federal courts have no power in these disputes flawed and selective.
The ruling is a setback for contentions by the Obama administration that the documents sought are privileged because they involve internal deliberations.
A deputy attorney general, in a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., insisted that disclosure would have significant, damaging consequences.
Jacksons ruling does not automatically mean that Issas Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will ultimately get the documents he wants.
Instead, it means Jackson gets to decide if theres a legitimate reason to keep them secret.
This opinion does not grapple with the scope of the presidents privilege, she wrote.
It simply rejects the notion that it is an unreviewable privilege when asserted in response to a legislative demand.
Operation Fast and Furious began in 2009, with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives telling weapons dealers to allow purchases to go through to straw buyers, those who were legally entitled to have weapons but where there was a reason to believe they were purchasing them for someone else. The goal of letting the guns walk was to allow ATF to follow the flow of firearms to Mexican drug cartels.
It drew public scrutiny after a 2010 firefight near Rio Rico where Terry was killed. Guns the ATF was supposed to have been tracking were recovered at the scene.
It ultimately was revealed that ATF lost track of more than half the 2,000-plus weapons they were supposed to be following. And ATF officials subsequently admitted its agents are aware of 11 instances where a firearm that was supposed to be part of Fast and Furious was recovered in connection with a violent crime in this country.
How long before She has an “accident” ?
The good judge just earned herself an audit by the gestap’ I mean, IRS.
Wow. A feral judge doesn’t side with the feral government’s so-called “Department of Justice?” That’s not my idea of a daily event.
October 3, 2013?
Honestly, if the Obama admin. doesn’t want to reveal any documents who will make them do so? This ruling means little until there is a different Senate, Justice Dept. or Republican (conservative) president. Also, until enough Americans are willing to do something about it.
“And Jackson called the Department of Justice contentions that federal courts have no power in these disputes flawed and selective.”
Flawed, selective arguments are Holders MO. What will he do now?
And that is why they are trying to get the death penalty off the books for treason?
She is just afraid of setting a precendent so when we have a pub pres it extends to him/her.
Good for judge Jackson, this could work out badly for 0bama, Holder and his other lapdog Secretaries.
Get the death penalty on the books for treason as a Public Hanging.
I think there probably is a huge number of judges out there who are well aware of the encroaching tyranny and are willing to work to block or fight it, even if sometimes for selfish reasons.
Which is of course why the BATFE never made any effort to track said weapons. /s
By all means!
and Televise it on all channels!
“She is just afraid of setting a precendent so when we have a pub pres it extends to him/her.”
Doesn’t work that way. Rules are only supposed to apply to Conservatives. Look at Harry Reid and the fillibuster. When it came time to apply the rule to Democrats, too bad, so sad.