By Robert Willmann
In a 2-1 decision, the federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ordered the trial court judge Emmet Sullivan to dismiss the criminal case against Gen. Michael Flynn. The order also vacated Sullivan's appointment of John Gleeson as an amicus curiae (friend of the court) to oppose the dismissal and to advise about whether to charge Flynn with criminal contempt of court for perjury.
In the words of a judge on a Texas court of appeals: "The written judgment is what matters. The opinion is nice to read". (That is an over-simplification, but it is still a good line!) The appellate court's order of today–
The majority opinion by Judges Rao and Henderson is 19 pages, and the dissenting opinion by Judge Wilkins is 19 pages–
As was discussed here on SST, an open issue in the mandamus action was the fact that the trial court judge had not yet decided the motion to dismiss by the Department of Justice, and so it would be premature to issue a mandamus to change a ruling that had not yet been made. That issue became the basis for the dissenting opinion. The dissent also took the position that the order appointing Gleeson should not be cancelled and vacated in this situation.
The court papers can be viewed or downloaded for reading. If a party in interest in a mandamus action does not like the decision, usually there is a new application for a writ of mandamus filed in a higher court, which would request a mandamus of the mandamus.
UPDATE, Wednesday, 24 June: A comment by kgbgb below mentioned that he saw a report that John Gleeson had filed a motion about his status and for additional time. The schedule in the trial court was for Gleeson to file his brief by 10 June (he did); Flynn and the Justice Department were to file their responses to it by 17 June (they did); and Gleeson can file a reply brief by noon today. Here is the request by Gleeson for a clarification about his ability to file a reply brief and for more time to file it if he is allowed to–