Federal Judge Finds Justice Department Lawyers Knowingly Lied And Orders Team To Take Ethics Classes

US-DeptOfJustice-Seal_svgJudge_Andrew_S._HanenUnited States District Judge Andrew Hanen issued a remarkable opinion yesterday that found that Justice Department lawyers not only lied to him and opposing counsel but “it is hard to imagine a more serious, more calculated plan of unethical conduct.” What is even more remarkable however is that, after finding such calculated and unethical conduct, Hanen ordered the lawyers to simply take ethics classes rather than refer them to the bar for suspension or disbarment. Many attorneys object that government lawyers routinely escape serious punishment for false or misleading statements. In this case, the judge found that the Justice Department misled him and opposing counsel in a case by Texas and 25 other states that sought to block President Barack Obama’s controversial immigration programs. Hansen blocked the program. Notably, the Justice Department is even opposing ethical classes as a sanction.

The government misled the court on when the government would begin implementing one of the programs. The Justice Department team assured the court the government would not start implementing an expansion of a program called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals until February 18, 2015. The court and opposing counsel relied on that date even though the government implemented a part of the program before February and granted over 100,000 applications. Hansen found that the “Justice Department lawyers knew the true facts and misrepresented those facts.”

Apparently, lawyers, somewhere in the halls of the Justice Department whose identities are unknown to this Court, decided unilaterally that the conduct of the DHS in granting three-year DACA renewals . . . was immaterial and irrelevant to this lawsuit and that the DOJ could therefore just ignore it. Then, for whatever reason, the Justice Department trial lawyers appearing in this Court chose not to tell the truth about this DHS activity. The first decision was certainly unsupportable, but the subsequent decision to hide it from the Court was unethical.

Miracle_on_34th_StreetIn an effort to convey how unethical the Justice Department acted in the case, Hanen even excerpted a portion of the film “Miracle on 34th Street” when a young Tommy Mara Jr. says “Gosh, everybody knows you shouldn’t tell a lie, especially in court.” Judge Hanen noted “There are certain attorneys in the Justice Department who apparently have not received that message.”

Here is the opinion: Immigration Decision.

75 thoughts on “Federal Judge Finds Justice Department Lawyers Knowingly Lied And Orders Team To Take Ethics Classes

    • Patriot, between you and that troll who is trying to convince everyone to let him or her show how they can make money, I have now come to realize how Prof. Turley’s blog site has the most activity of all of the legal blogs.

    • Molly – David is a poor speller with two ts, maybe correct with one t. Since there is free speech, I take the good with the bad.

  1. […] A lawsuit filed by a handful of states in opposition to the administration’s new (and controversial) immigration policies have made their way through a number of courts, with one headed to the top court in the land. Meanwhile, down in Texas, a federal judge has uncovered DOJ lawyers have been engaged in a pattern of deception since the inception of the litigation. While the Supreme Court will be tackling the question of whether the administration has to play by its own rules, Judge Andrew Hanen is spending his time reprimanding the government’s lawyers for their misdeeds. (via Jonathan Turley) […]

  2. […] A lawsuit filed by a handful of states in opposition to the administration’s new (and controversial) immigration policies have made their way through a number of courts, with one headed to the top court in the land. Meanwhile, down in Texas, a federal judge has uncovered DOJ lawyers have been engaged in a pattern of deception since the inception of the litigation. While the Supreme Court will be tackling the question of whether the administration has to play by its own rules, Judge Andrew Hanen is spending his time reprimanding the government’s lawyers for their misdeeds. (via Jonathan Turley) […]

  3. […] JonathanTurley: United States District Judge Andrew Hanen issued a remarkable opinion yesterday that found that Justice Department lawyers not only lied to him and opposing counsel but “it is hard to imagine a more serious, more calculated plan of unethical conduct.” What is even more remarkable however is that, after finding such calculated and unethical conduct, Hanen ordered the lawyers to simply take ethics classes rather than refer them to the bar for suspension or disbarment. Many attorneys object that government lawyers routinely escape serious punishment for false or misleading statements. In this case, the judge found that the Justice Department misled him and opposing counsel in a case by Texas and 25 other states that sought to block President Barack Obama’s controversial immigration programs. Hansen blocked the program. Notably, the Justice Department is even opposing ethical classes as a sanction. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s