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Hostility to all things Donald Trump has corrupted more than one American institution in the last four years, and now the nation’s second highest court seems to have succumbed. On Thursday the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear an en banc appeal of a writ of mandamus granted by one of the court’s panels to Michael Flynn.

Mr. Flynn, the former national security adviser, has already suffered from unfair prosecution by the FBI and Justice Department. He’s also been abused by federal Judge Emmet Sullivan, who has refused to dismiss the case after the Justice Department found that special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors had failed to turn over exculpatory evidence to Mr. Flynn and his attorneys.

That’s why Mr. Flynn sought a writ of mandamus ordering the judge to dismiss the case, which was granted June 24 in a 2-1 ruling by a panel of the D.C. Circuit. Judge Neomi Rao wrote the majority opinion and was joined by long-time circuit Judge Karen Henderson. It’s all but unheard of that the full circuit court would second-guess the grant of a writ, but the Flynn case has been highly politicized and the D.C. Circuit was stacked with progressives in 2013.

Judge Sullivan justifies his defiance with an expansive and unique interpretation of Rule 48 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which says that the government can’t dismiss a case without “leave of the court.” The 2-1 D.C. Circuit panel opinion slapping him down rests largely on a precedent the same court set in U.S. v. Fokker Services in 2016.

The relevant line from that opinion is clear.

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