by Clarice Feldman
Two weeks ago, I wrote of the Department of Justice’s overreach respecting some of the hundreds of January 6 defendants. On Friday the D.C. Circuit clipped the department’s wings. I expect more such losses as time goes on and the Department must actually present evidence in contested trials.
The ploy of keeping in D.C. jails without bail some of the protestors who engaged in no specific violent acts at the Capitol until their cases can be heard was very obviously designed to compel them to plea bargain so they could return home to their families and jobs, and the three-judge panel wasn’t buying it. If you think that there is a partisan tinge to their decision, you’d be wrong, Judge Robert Wilkins was confirmed under Barack Obama; Judge Judith Rogers under Bill Clinton, and Judge George Katsas under Donald Trump. It was bipartisan.
The case made it to the Circuit Court upon appeal from a detention order by Judge Royce Lamberth (a senior judge first appointed to the bench by then-president Ronald Reagan).