Another disgraceful judicial decision

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Corlyss_D
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Another disgraceful judicial decision

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon May 09, 2005 8:07 pm

Regardless of whether he's an activist or an originalist, this judge wasn't imaginative enough to figure out how to give the Congress what it and posterity demand here. This cretinous UN needs to be humiliated in the most unsympathetic "tough love" way, figuratively burnt to the ground in order to rebuild it as an effective institution.
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washingtonpost.com
Court Favors U.N. on Oil-For-Food Papers

By NICK WADHAMS
The Associated Press
Monday, May 9, 2005; 9:27 PM



UNITED NATIONS -- The United Nations won an initial victory in federal court Monday blocking a former investigator from giving Congress documents that he took with him when he quit a probe of the Iraq oil-for-food program.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina in Washington issued the temporary restraining order in the effort by the U.N. to quash three congressional subpoenas for Robert Parton. The ex-FBI agent quit the U.N.-appointed Independent Inquiry Committee in April, reportedly because he believed it ignored evidence critical of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

The court order freezes the legal issues, giving the two sides a 10-day window to attempt to resolve the matter.

Parton has already turned over documents from the investigation to the House International Relations Committee in response to a subpoena. He is also under subpoena from two other House investigations.

The chief of the U.N.-appointed investigative committee, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, sought the court petition, and the United Nations filed it on his behalf. Volcker said release of the documents could jeopardize his investigation and put witnesses' lives at risk.

"This action is out of concern for the protection of the witnesses and the confidentiality of the investigation," Volcker's committee said in a statement prior to the ruling.

Annan created the Volcker probe last year to investigate fraud in the $64 billion program, but the probe has itself been thrust into the spotlight over accusations that it covered up evidence critical of the U.N. leader.

The oil-for-food program allowed Saddam Hussein's government to sell oil and use the proceeds to buy food, medicine and humanitarian goods during the U.N. trade embargo, but it became a tool with which the Iraqi dictator stole billions of dollars.

In an interim report March 29, Volcker's panel concluded there wasn't enough evidence to prove Annan influenced the awarding of an oil-for-food contract to a Swiss company that employed his son, Kojo Annan.

But it faulted him for not properly investigating allegations of conflict of interest in the awarding of the contract, and Volcker's committee denies it ignored any facts about Annan.

Volcker's committee claims Parton is still subject to U.N. immunity and therefore exempt from congressional subpoenas. It has accused him of violating his confidentiality agreement by taking the documents when he quit.

In a statement released through his lawyer Monday, Parton said he kept the documents "because of my concern that the investigative process and conclusions were flawed."

Parton said he had repeatedly expressed his concerns to the committee and wanted to keep a record that showed he wasn't associated with the conclusions it made.

In another statement Monday prior to the court ruling, Parton's lawyer, Lanny Davis, said Parton would comply with the congressional subpoenas unless the court ordered him not to.

"We trust and expect that if a federal court so orders, the Congress will refrain from seeking to hold Mr. Parton in contempt," Davis wrote.
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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Mon May 09, 2005 8:32 pm

C'mon Corlyss, you're taking advantage of the fact that there are only four lawyers on this board. A temporary restraining order (TRO) isn't that hard to get. It's ex parte (not adversarial) and a court's failure to grant it may result in irreparable harm to the movant. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that the court calendar an adversarial hearing within a very short time since the TRO movant is then seeking a preliminary injunction.

Very often a judge who granted a TRO DOES NOT extend the injunction at or after the later required hearing.

Your story ain't no big news, one way or another.
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Corlyss_D
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon May 09, 2005 9:03 pm

Ralph wrote:C'mon Corlyss, you're taking advantage of the fact that there are only four lawyers on this board. A temporary restraining order (TRO) isn't that hard to get. It's ex parte (not adversarial) and a court's failure to grant it may result in irreparable harm to the movant. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that the court calendar an adversarial hearing within a very short time since the TRO movant is then seeking a preliminary injunction.

Very often a judge who granted a TRO DOES NOT extend the injunction at or after the later required hearing.

Your story ain't no big news, one way or another.
What happened to that argument "TROs are very hard to get because of the 'likelihood of prevailing on the merits' we heard so much about during Schiavo??? I'm not encouraged about the chances of Congress dragging the UN over the coals with this decision.
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Post by Ralph » Mon May 09, 2005 9:30 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Ralph wrote:C'mon Corlyss, you're taking advantage of the fact that there are only four lawyers on this board. A temporary restraining order (TRO) isn't that hard to get. It's ex parte (not adversarial) and a court's failure to grant it may result in irreparable harm to the movant. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that the court calendar an adversarial hearing within a very short time since the TRO movant is then seeking a preliminary injunction.

Very often a judge who granted a TRO DOES NOT extend the injunction at or after the later required hearing.

Your story ain't no big news, one way or another.
What happened to that argument "TROs are very hard to get because of the 'likelihood of prevailing on the merits' we heard so much about during Schiavo??? I'm not encouraged about the chances of Congress dragging the UN over the coals with this decision.
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The Schiavo case was litigated to death and the TROs sought were obviously attempts at both delay and publicity in that media-obsessed matter. The case you report is a very different matter. The TRO is the first provisional remedy sought, not one in an unending line of maneuvers.

I've obtained many TROs and sometimes seen them vacated on the subsequent hearing for a preliminary injunction.

And as a general matter, a facially valid assertion of irreparable injury is sufficient because there is no counter-argument. Perhaps I should make cleaer to fewllow posters that "ex parte" means that the movant and the court proceed without an adverse party. It's strictly one-sided which is why it's so important to have a full adversarial hearing within a short, statutorily specified time.
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