11th Circuit spanks Judge Cannon
I read the Circuit Court's 29-page decision so you don't have to
Only forty-eight hours after the Trump legal team filed its response to the Department of Justice’s request that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals end the restrictions imposed on the 100 folders of highly classified documents, the Circuit Court, citing legal precedent after precedent after precedent, eviscerated the order handed down by Florida District Court Judge Aileen Cannon and ruled in the government’s favor. In a scorching decision, the panel of three judges – two appointed by Trump and one by Obama -- found that Judge Cannon erred on nearly every point of the law and procedure. The Circuit Court ordered that her restriction on the DOJ’s use of the classified documents is “stayed,” or lifted, as well as her requirement that “the government…submit the classified documents to the special master for review.”
The legalese is a bit dense, but that sounds an awful lot to me like the Circuit Court has told the DOJ that it does not have to submit the classified documents seized from Mar a Lago to the special master for review. That part of Cannon’s order is now moot, and the special master will not have to ensure that everyone reviewing the documents has a security clearance high enough to do so.
The Circuit Court appeared to rely heavily on the government’s “need to know” rules about classified documents, that anyone seeking to see, or even hold onto classified documents must not only have an appropriate security clearance but must establish a “need to know” in order to have the documents. The Circuit Court found that Trump had “no possessory interest” in the documents because their classified markings clearly show they belong to the government. “For our part,” the court wrote, “we cannot discern why Plaintiff would have an individual interest in or need for any of the one-hundred documents with classification markings.”
The court went on to complete its cancellation of Trump’s legal arguments by noting, “Plaintiff [Trump] has not even attempted to show that he has a need to know the information contained in the classified documents. Nor has he established that the current administration has waived that requirement for these documents. And even if he had, that, in and of itself, would not explain why Plaintiff has an individual interest in the documents.”
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