Our mandamus in part sought to block HB237 from getting out of the Gen Ass, signed by the gov and enacted July 1. The court not moving on the mandamus has allowed it to be signed by the gov. Tomorrow we file new mand to compel judge to act, and also are filing an emerg motion for an injunction to stop HB237 from becoming effective until the adjudication of our case. If emerg mot is denied, is it worth appealing on up to get the injunction, and does filing the notice of appeal act as a supersedeas, stopping the law from taking effect or do we need to file an emerg mot to be heard immediately in appeals court? Or is appealing to get the injunction a fool's errand?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Georgia
I am afraid that the court could not have prevented the law from being signed or getting out of the legislature as part of the Constitutional separation of powers. The judiciary could not get involved in the legislative process and the legislature has the right to make their laws and governor signs them as the executive who will enforce the law. It is considered a political question and the courts cannot involve themselves in political questions. You cannot file suit over the law until someone is actually aggrieved by the law under the Constitutional provision that the court cannot get involved until there is a "case or controversy" and until someone has been harmed or effected directly by the law, no suit can be brought because there is no standing and no case or controversy. Thus, you are looking at a fool's errand for now until someone is impacted directly by the law and that person can seek to file suit regarding the law.Had I known all of this from the beginning we could have saved you a ton of time.
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That's the fun part/business end of being a "pro se idiot" and learning as you go! :)
No real time lost, though, I don't think.
There is much more to the mandamus, so we'll still file against the judge, just no emerg motion, or aat least not an emerg to be heard in appeals.
Interesting about the separation of powers, of which I am at least familiar with the basic concept. Somewhere along the way, though, I think we will be arguing that had at least some aspects of the original mandamus been favorably ruled on in a timely manner, Deal would have been compelled to execute other ministerial dutes that I think would have precluded him from signing the bill.
Sounds like he's on the cusp of both branches; acting legislatively by signing, then judically by enforcing.
In a nutshell, we're trying to compel the Gen Ass to compell their atty to give legal opinion on what if any laws on the books (forgery, notary fraud, theft) are unenforceable due to "lack of any pertinant FC fraud legislation", which has been the mantra even back to Perdue's administration, and also opine on whether or not lack of any such legislation strips the governor and AG from having jurisdiction to enforce current, stand-alone laws, which is what they claim.
We seek a similar ruling from the court based upon its interpretation of the statutes.
If we win those points, and especially prior to Deal signing the bill, they would be compelled to enforce the laws we already have on the books, which actually have some teeth, leaving them no reason to sign into law HB237 that vitiates the existing laws, forgives past offences, has no teeth and no subpeona powers.
If I am correct on this point, it seems the mandamus arguing Deal had a ministerial duty to do one thing and not the other - enforcing existing law and not signing the bill - would be fodder for an injunction.
Regardless, The work I've done on the mandamus to this point, to compel the judge to do her job still has substance; just may not be needed to be filed before July 1st, and may not affect that one aspect of the original.
Another fun part of being a pro se idiot, is sometimes being stubborn - I'll probably still file the emergency motion tomorrow, and a subsequent notice of appeal if I don't get it, but won't try to "chase it up the ladder" tomorrow.
Very little extra work to get it into the record even if it produces no immediate result.
If you say nothing further here on this, I will assume you feel my "on the cusp and "mandamus would have compelled Deal to do somehting other than sign" theory to hold no water. Otherwise, I may go ahead and chase it tomorrow.
You could not get a court order to stop a governor from signing a bill, that is a political question I am afraid. Again, separation of powers. You can seek to now invalidate the law once it was signed, but you cannot stop the law from being proposed, passed or signed by a court order. Mandamus could not compel an elected official of the legislative or executive branch to not pass or sign a law, that is not the purpose of mandamus being the court has no power over political decisions.
JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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