Boom! Lawyered: The Department of Justice Is Bullying ACLU Attorneys and It’s a Big Deal

Imani Gandy & Jessica Mason Pieklo

In the latest episode of Boom! Lawyered, Rewire.News legal experts Imani Gandy and Jessica Mason Pieklo confront an extraordinary overreach by the U.S. Department of Justice. After failing to prevent immigrant minor Jane Doe from obtaining an abortion to which she’s legally entitled, the department is now asking the Supreme Court to punish the ACLU attorneys who represent her. Why? Because they dared to do their job. Listen to learn what this might mean for those attorneys—and for all of us.

An edited excerpt:

Jess: What we have here with the ACLU is a case of some really good lawyering. Their client ran into a problem, and they found an alternative way to fix it. They did everything that they were required to do within their ethical obligations to the court. And they beat the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice is mad; they don’t like it.

Imani: The problem here is that the DOJ is bothered that Jane Doe’s attorneys were able to do what their client wanted them to do. And that’s to get her the abortion that she wanted and needed. The DOJ screwed everything up by not filing the proper papers with the court at the proper time. If they wanted to prevent her from getting this abortion, they could’ve filed what’s called a stay. And that would’ve halted all the proceedings.

What’s really screwed up about it, is the government knows how to file a stay, because they’d filed one in this very same case in order to prevent her from getting an abortion. So this is just a case of bad lawyering on the DOJ’s part.

Jess: And they’re trying to cover up their own bad lawyering by going directly to the Supreme Court with this garbage claim that the ACLU was not being candid with the court and with opposing counsel as they’re required to.

Transcript (PDF)