Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) wanted a federal court to call furloughed attorneys in to work just so he could move forward with a lawsuit he filed two years ago.
Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Issa can’t be an exception to the shutdown, especially given the role his caucus has played in forcing the government to close.
The suit seeks to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for failing to hand over confidential documents to the House Oversight Committee.
While all other lawsuits were stalled after the Oct. 1 shutdown, Issa says it is “necessary” for his to move forward.
“Contingency Plan provides that Department employees may continue to work on matters necessary to the discharge of the President’s constitutional duties and powers,” he said.
The documents in question, Issa says, are embarrassing to the Obama administration.
Judge Berman Jackson said, essentially, that if Issa wants to move ahead with the suit he’ll have to work to lift the shutdown order.
“There are no exigent circumstances in this case that would justify an order of the Court forcing furloughed attorneys to return to their desks,” Jackson said. “Moreover, while the vast majority of litigants who now must endure a delay in the progress of their matters do so due to circumstances beyond their control, that cannot be said of the House of Representatives, which has played a role in the shutdown that prompted the stay motion.”