Thursday, January 05, 2006

Court rejects Orange

It was a stupid stunt from a stupid guy. A good lawyer knows better.

"Remember the lawsuit that council member Vincent B. Orange Sr. filed against his council chairman and mayoral opponent, Linda W. Cropp ? Yep. Dismissed. A D.C. superior court judge tossed the case out of court, writing in a summary judgment that Orange, a lawyer, was essentially asking him 'to usurp the power of the Chairman and the Council.''

Orange (D-Ward 5) filed the suit against Cropp (D) on Oct. 31 after she ruled that he could not hold a public hearing to investigate the city's baseball stadium deal. Cropp said baseball did not fall under the jurisdiction of Orange's Government Operations Committee. She did not say a hearing would constitute shameless grandstanding by Orange on the baseball issue, though lots of other people did.
In any case, Orange decided to sue. The pleading came before Judge Frederick H. Weisberg , who issued a summary judgment in Cropp's favor.

"To adjudicate the questions presented by Plaintiff's complaint would quite obviously embroil the court in the affairs of the Council and require the court to intrude impermissibly into matters that are exclusively entrusted to the legislative branch of government," Weisberg wrote in his judgment. "Plaintiff's case presents only non-justiciable political questions, which the court may not resolve without doing violence to the separation of powers."

Weisberg also noted that the council's own rules provide for an appeals process to rulings by the chairman, eliminating the need for Orange to turn to the courts for relief."

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