Incompetence or Indifference: Gov’t Punts on BC Appeal
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6, 2012
The United States of America is, like, real busy and stuff.
On May 4, Boston College filed an opening brief in its weak, half-hearted appeal of the district court’s decision regarding the second set of Belfast Project subpoenas. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston owes a reply brief on June 7. On June 5, presumably wearing a beanie with a propeller on top and sucking its sugared thumb, the government filed a request for a 30-day extension. Two days before his brief is due, the AUSA handling the thing informs the court that he “has not been able to begin work on the government’s response in this case.”
Has not been able to begin, he says.
The bizarre thing is that, first, BC’s appeal is one of two appeals in the same case, since the Belfast Project researchers broke off from the university and filed their own appeal that got to court before this one. And second, the government stumbled into ongoing disaster when it argued that other related appeal before the same court. So they’re already on bad footing, and the obvious next step if they cared about the matter at hand was to come blazing back with their best work in the next outing. Instead, they’ve signaled to the court that the thing they handled poorly last time is now their last priority, and man, judge dude, we totally know we had a deadline thing on this appeal thing, but we were totally busy with our calculus homework, man, can you cut me a break just this one time?
Even the Department of Justice knows it has a dog on its hands.
UPDATE: The court has granted the request for an extension. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston has until July 6 to file its reply brief. It’s a murder investigation! Feel the urgency!