When the al-Haramain hearing last week turned to questions of next steps, DOJ’s Anthony Coppolino played for time.
THE COURT: All right. What I would suggest is a — and I’m going to ask the clerk to backstop me here. We have a special setting for hearing this motion — we could hear it on the — How’s the 5th of August?
(Attorney Coppolino shaking his head.)
THE COURT: Mr. Coppolino says no.
MR. COPPOLINO: Well, really, the first two weeks of August are quite bad for me. I was going to suggest, perhaps, the first Thursday that I could do; it would be the 20th.
THE COURT: Doesn’t have to be on a Thursday unless we have to work around a trial.
MR. COPPOLINO: Okay. My preference would be the 28th or 21st. Looks like you are not available the following week, at least according to that calendar (pointing), at least.
THE CLERK: That’s correct.
MR. COPPOLINO: So I would ask the Court, if it’s possible, and depending on Mr. Eisenberg’s schedule, no sooner than, say, the 21st or then after Labor Day.
MR. EISENBERG: Your Honor, I’m going to be mired in work throughout July and August; it doesn’t matter to me what date you choose. It’s going to be a tough summer; I’m prepared to deal with that.
THE COURT: All right.
MR. COPPOLINO: Plus, you need to build in time for his reply because if he files on the 30th, I would need July because we have the Jewel hearing on the 15th. So I think I need at least the end of July — he gets to reply, if it’s his motion, so I think, unfortunately, if it’s okay, we are into September.
THE COURT: What does September 2 look like?
I suspect that when Coppolino pushed al-Haramain out into September, he knew this was coming (from an ACLU press release).
The Justice Department today argued that the victims of the "extraordinary rendition" program should not have their day in court, asking a federal appeals court to block a landmark case the court had earlier ruled could go forward. In April, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary, Jeppesen DataPlan Inc., for its role in the Bush administration’s unlawful "extraordinary rendition" program could proceed, but today the government asked the appeals court’s full panel of judges to rehear that decision.