Belfast Project: The Government Opposes the Application for a Stay

Yesterday the government filed its opposition to Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre’s application to Justice Breyer for a stay in the Belfast Project case. In an earlier order, Justice Breyer had granted a temporary stay pending the government’s opposition.

The brief was filed by Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. It makes two kinds of argument. The first, familiar to those who have been following the case, is that Moloney & McIntyre are wrong on the merits. The second is a kind of argument unique to Supreme Court practice. Because the threshold question, on an application for a stay, is whether the applicants can show a “reasonable probability that four Justices will consider the issue sufficiently meritorious to grant certiorari,” and because the Supreme Court’s docket is essentially entirely discretionary, the brief takes a lot of time explaining why, in the government’s view, the case does not warrant the Supreme Court’s attention.

I’ll have more on this when Justice Breyer, or the full court, makes a decision on whether to extend the stay.

By the way, I have the application for a stay but have not been able to post it for technical reasons. I’m working on it!

About Ted Folkman

Ted Folkman is a shareholder with Murphy & King, a Boston law firm, where he has a complex business litigation practice. He is the author of International Judicial Assistance (MCLE 2d ed. 2016), a nuts-and-bolts guide to international judicial assistance issues, and of the chapter on service of process in the ABA's forthcoming treatise on International Aspects of US Litigation, and he is the publisher of Letters Blogatory, the Web's first blog devoted to international judicial assistance, which the ABA recognized as one of the best 100 legal blogs in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

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