Just about everyone has the experience of being ordered to do something stupid and pointless by someone in authority, and having to just suck it up and pay the price for not being higher on the great food chain of life. That’s probably how Eric Holder and his staff feel about being required to state the position on the Obama administration on the power of judicial review. But they met Judge Jerry Smith’s deadline, and managed to get their statement of the obvious to reach a third page, as Smith specified. They did not, moreover, succumb to the temptation of putting the memo on Mickey Mouse stationary or write the whole thing up in crayon.

I profoundly hope Smith is satisfied, and perhaps embarassed, not only by his ludicrous little exercise, but by his role in extending and amplifying one of the dumber kerfuffles we’ve seen in years.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.