GC Echo Syndrome on desperate DOJ motion to clarify in ObamaCare case [updated]


Aaron Worthing of Patterico.com echoes our assertion of The Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder’s disingenuousness:

So the Obama administration’s lawyers have filed a “Motion to Clarify” where they pretend that they are not sure what Judge Vinson meant by his ruling.  You see a few states, such as Florida and Alaska, have decided in light of Vinson’s ruling that Obamacare is a dead letter to them (both states were parties to the decision).  This is the correct reading of the decision. Read it all here.

The Ace of Spades echoes Worthing and DeVine and goes further:

Worthing calls it “dishonesty” and I’ll be straight with you: it’s certainly misleading and if I wrote that motion I’d be waking up with cold sweats in the middle of the night for fear of getting sanctioned by the Court or a bar association. Read it all here.

Finally, as noted in comments below, Todd Gaziano, affirms DeVine Law Gamecock’s take on the Motion to Clarify as “odd and … insulting”:

Late Thursday, February 17, the Obama Administration filed an incredibly odd and almost insulting “Motion to Clarify” the judgment in the case it lost against 26 states and the NFIB in the Obamacare litigation in Florida v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, No. 10-cv-00091 (N. D. Fla.)(Judge Vinson). With this motion, the Administration has now stated officially that, notwithstanding the Judge’s declaration of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) as unconstitutional, the Administration does not interpret the Judge’s order as requiring the Administration to cease carrying out the unconstitutional ACA. The “Motion to Clarify” does not explicitly seek reconsideration of Judge Vinson’s judgment declaring the ACA unconstitutional, nor does it seek a stay of that judgment; it simply says the Federal Government will not be following the Judge’s judgment declaring the ACA unconstitutional unless the Judge issues another order stating to the Government that the Judge did, in fact, anticipate its judgment to have immediate injunction-like effect.

This motion really is one for reconsideration of the entire case and to stay the judgment in disguise, but the Administration cannot meet the necessary standard to stay the judgment. Most legal observers would conclude that the Administration filed this “Trojan Horse” motion in bad faith.

[Resume original column]

At least in Brown v. Board of Education the court order voided de jure racial segregation only with “deliberate speed”…

On January 31, 2011, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson declared ObamaCare unconstitutional and added:

“…there is a long standing presumption that officials of the Executive Branch [Obama Administration] will adhere to the law as declared by the court…”

Judge Vinson’s added that sentence to make clear that, this being a final order on the merits, there was no reason for an injunction to be issued since injunctions are usually only issued in cases of this type in which temporary relief is asked for pending a final order on the merits.

In the 17 days that have passed since the order, President Barack Obama’s Justice Department has announced an intent to appeal, but has not yet filed any appeal. More significantly, neither has the government filed a Motion to Stay enforcement of the order pending appeal. Instead, President Obama, through his press secretary, and the Defendant Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, have insisted that they retain the right to continue to implement ObamaCare regulations nationwide and have done so.

Meanwhile, various parties to the case, including certain governors and attorney general for plaintiff states, have ceased cooperating with the Obama Administration, on the grounds that to do so would violate their oaths of office to faithfully execute the laws of the United States. They deemed Judge Vinson to have clearly voided ObamaCare, thus removing it from the codification of the “laws of the United States.”

Late today, in an extraordinary move, Obama’s lawyers asked Judge Vinson to “clarify” his order. Such motions are quite rare as they imply that the author of the order is not skilled in the use of the English language. Of course, Eric Holder and company understand the order very clearly, but are not used to having fellow members of the bar speaking in a language other than liberal weasel-speak (i.e. lies that pretend to follow the Constitution accompanied by a wink).

Obama and Holder are desperate, for they know that to file the usual motion for a stay would be admit that ObamaCare is void and that they need the judge’s permission to continue to do anything in furtherance of the ObamaCare statute. So, they are trying to have their cake and eat it too. They are trying to trick Judge Vinson.

It won’t work.

The likely response from the court will be to put an exclamation point on the already crystal clear order either by issuing an injunction, that, in cases like this are quite rare since most civilians comply with court orders rather than risk spending time in jail for contempt; or the court will merely deny the request to force the 26 states that were parties to the case to comply with ObamaCare regulations.

Either way, the clock ticks towards the March deadline by which Obama must ask for a stay and admit the powers of a coequal branch of government.

Fellow conservatives, dare we wish for an early yuletide via a Vinson-mas gift that voids ObamaCare while it is appealed? Yes, we dare. What seemed a near impossible dream via the elected branches and the need for a new president and filibuster-proof Senate no earlier than 2013, could be only weeks away.

Yes, tea partiers, their is a Vinson Claus!

Mike DeVine

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

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