Executive Order #65 Hearing Uncertain

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The possibility of the Supreme Court deciding whether or not to allow the enforcement of Executive Order #65 before the holding of the December 16 special senatorial election is still in doubt.

The uncertainty is due to the delay on the part of government’s lawyers to submit their response pleading against the “unconstitutionality” lawsuit filed before the Supreme Court against President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s executive order by her son Robert, one of the senatorial candidates for Montserrado County.

But, Associate Justice Philip A.Z. Banks, who is the current Justice in Chambers and the person who imposed a stay order on the elections, says “everything is on course.”

Justice Banks did not indicate when the full bench will hear the matter, stating, “government’s lawyers are yet to file their responsive pleading, but I am told that they would do so today.

“If they don’t file their response, we can’t set any hearing date, and the justices will not be able to hear the matter very soon,” said Justice Banks, adding, “I can’t send the case to the full bench for oral arguments if we don’t have the responses.”

“Then how would the Liberian people expect us to come down with a ruling outside of the legal document?” Justice Banks asked.

In their responsive pleading  government is expected to argue either that the factual allegation made in the complaint, even if true, does not set forth a cognizable legal claim, or that the complaint is factually insufficient in that, for example, it fails to allege facts that are sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief.

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