October 3, 2013
Federal Trade Commission, Plaintiff,
ELH Consulting LLC, et al., Defendants.
FREDERICK J. MARTONE, Senior District Judge.
The court has before it "Plaintiff's Motion for Continuance due to United States Government Cessation" (doc. 120). The FTC asserts that its appropriations have lapsed and its lawyers cannot act. It seeks a postponement of the deadline to file a motion for summary judgment.
We acknowledge that some parts of the government have "shut down" due to the failure of the House of Representatives to pass an unconditional appropriations bill. But many Executive agencies have maintained their "essential" functions. As has the judiciary. Only "non-essential" employees have been furloughed.
Because deciding cases and controversies under Article III of the Constitution is an "essential" function of the judicial branch, this court is operating. The lawyers appearing in its cases have a professional obligation to their clients to participate.
Thus, we need more information from Plaintiff before we can rule on the motion. Has the entire FTC been declared "non-essential"? Are any lawyers in the FTC categorized as "essential"? If the latter, why can't an "essential" lawyer prepare and file the motion for summary judgment?
It is ORDERED that the Plaintiff shall file a Supplemental Memorandum in support of its motion answering these questions no later than October 8, 2013.