Earlier this month, Patel dismissed the latest rage in defending felon-in-possession cases: arguing that the Justice Department’s recent policy switch on the Second Amendment gives defendants new ground to challenge the charges against them.

What really rankled defense lawyers is not so much that Patel dismissed the argument being made in courts across the country, but that she told lawyers not to waste their breath — or taxpayer money. “The court will not reimburse attorneys out of CJA [Criminal Justice Act] funds for such useless time,” Patel wrote.

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