(CN) – The former commissioner of the organization responsible for defining and maintaining the boundary between the United States and Canada can’t challenge the power of former President George W. Bush after being removed him from his post, the 9th Circuit ruled.
Dennis Schornack, former commissioner of the International Boundary Commission, was appointed by Bush in 2002 but was later removed by the president and replaced by David Bernhardt.
Schornack fought his removal, arguing that the president had no power to fire him or to hire Bernhardt under the terms of the treaties that created the commission. Schornack also sought to quash all of Bernhardt’s filings in district court, and claimed the Department of Justice had no business representing the commission because it is an international organization and not a U.S. agency.
The district court denied Schornack’s attempts and held that he had been effectively removed by Bush, who had the power to do so under the Constitution. The commission was the only defendant in Schornack’s suit.
On appeal, a three-judge panel for the 9th Circuit concluded that it did not have jurisdiction to rule in favor of Schornack because Schornack did have constitutional grounds to seek relief.
“We express no view on the merits of the validity of President Bush’s termination of Schornack’s tenure as Commissioner of the International Boundary Commission,” Judge Ronald Gould wrote for the Seattle-based panel.