Letter: Issue a writ of mandamus
Issue a writ of mandamus
Editor of the Reformer:
Dear Honorable President Obama: Thank you for doing your job and nominating a Supreme Court Justice.
Let's crack open our first year law books or at least Wikipedia, and remember a writ of mandamus.
Mandamus is a judicial remedy in the form of an order from a superior court, to any government subordinate court, corporation, or public authority — to do (or forbear from doing) some specific act which that body is obliged under law to do (or refrain from doing) — and which is in the nature of public duty, and in certain cases one of a statutory duty. It cannot be issued to compel an authority to do something against statutory provision. For example, it cannot be used to force a lower court to reject or authorize applications that have been made, but if the court refuses to rule one way or the other then a mandamus can be used to order the court to rule on the applications.
Mandamus may be a command to do an administrative action or not to take a particular action, and it is supplemented by legal rights. In the American legal system it must be a judicially enforceable and legally protected right before one suffering a grievance can ask for a mandamus. A person can be said to be aggrieved only when he is denied a legal right by someone who has a legal duty to do something and abstains from doing it.
If the Senate refuses to grant a hearing to Merrick Garland within two weeks, please instruct Attorney General Lynch to seek a writ of mandamus requiring the Senate to do their job.
Dean Lynch, Westminster West, March 18
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