The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a request from President Donald Trump in his lawsuit against Joe Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) for an emergency ruling. Trump had asked for an order permitting the special master who has been appointed to review a batch of around 100 documents that bear classification markings.
The ruling was issued in a one-sentence order that was not signed by any of the Justices, and no dissenting votes from the order were indicated.
JUST IN: The Supreme Court DENIES Trump's request to intervene in the dispute over documents with classified markings taken from Mar-a-Lago. The court offers no explanation for its decision (as is common for actions on the shadow docket), and there are no recorded dissents. pic.twitter.com/YxMr1LGayg
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) October 13, 2022
The small group of marked documents at the center of Trump’s request was part of the much larger group of around 11,000 documents seized by the FBI during the execution of a search warrant on August 8 at the former president’s Palm Beach, Florida residence. The warrant had been obtained by the DOJ from a south Florida U.S. magistrate judge the week prior to the seizure.
Trump filed a lawsuit in a Florida federal court to challenge the warrant and to seek the return of property he claimed had been wrongfully seized. He asserted that many of the documents taken are protected by either attorney-client privilege or executive privilege.
U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon ruled in favor of Trump last month on his request for the appointment of a special master to review the documents taken by the FBI and for an order blocking the DOJ from using the material as part of its alleged criminal investigation.
However, part of that order was put on hold by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals pursuant to an emergency appeal request made by the DOJ. The intermediate appeals court ordered that the special master must be temporarily blocked from reviewing the documents bearing classification markings.
President Trump responded to that order by filing the emergency appeal request with the Supreme Court on October 4. In his motion, he asked the high court to reinstate Judge Cannon’s original order and to compel the DOJ to provide the seized documents to the special master for his review.
Thursday’s brief order rejected Trump’s request. It is not unusual in emergency appeals for the court to issue an unsigned denial of the type issued this week without formal opinions or explanations.
The Supreme Court’s refusal to get involved at this time leaves jurisdiction over the matter with the Eleventh Circuit Court. The high court could still take up a future appeal in the case after further action by the lower courts.