The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
Today the Supreme Court rejected former President Donald Trump's effort to reimpose a district court order blocking the Department of Justice from continuing its review of classified documents seized by federal agents at Mar-a-Lago. This is another (unsurprising) legal setback for the former President.
To recap, a federal district court had issued an order blocking the Justice Department from reviewing the seized documents. A unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit stayed this order, allowing the Justice Department's review to continue. As I explained in my prior post, the Eleventh Circuit's opinion was a thorough rebuke of Judge Cannon for issuing the disputed order.
On October 4, Trump's attorneys filed an application to vacate the Eleventh Circuit's stay with the Supreme Court. This application was submitted to the circuit justice for the Eleventh Circuit, Justice Thomas, who requested the Justice Department respond to the request by October 11. This was an early sign that the Court was skeptical of Trump's filing, as it demonstrated no sense of urgency.
Today, without comment or noted dissent, the Supreme Court denied Trump's application with a single sentence order: "The application to vacate the stay entered by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on September 21, 2022, presented to Justice Thomas and by him referred to the Court is denied." There was no noted dissent.
The Supreme Court's action should not have been a surprise, as Trump's filing (like the initial trial ourt order it sought to restore) lacked legal merit. It is a shame that some folks at either extreme of the political spectrum who somehow thought this motion had a chance.