He did rule by ignoring it and inviting an amicus to gather facts and argue the case against dismissal. When you start to play tiddlywinks rather than umpire baseball, you are way out of bounds, and a writ of mandamus is designed to fix that.
As Powell argued in her brief
"[w]hen the writ of mandamus is sought from an appellate court to confine a trial court to a lawful exercise of its prescribed authority, the court should issue the writ almost as a matter of course." In Re Reyes, 814 F.2d 168, 170 (5th Cir. 1987). If there is a threshold question concerning ... jurisdiction to review the district courts interlocutory order ... [this Court] first consider[s] whether the district court legally erred. Fokker Servs., 818 F.3d at 740.
The government dropped the charges because the evidence strongly suggests that the DOJ and FBI manipulated and manufactured evidence to pressure him into a plea. They denied him due process. They admit to their machinations in writing multiple times (handwritten documents, texts, emails) indicating their objective was not justice for a criminal action but a vendetta or fear of him being placed in a position of power over them.
There is no case here. The DOJ withdrew. The judge is way out of bounds in refusing the dismissal. It should have been dropped the minute the DOJ withdrew the charges, further indicating the miscarriage of justice that has marred this case from the beginning.
And it is so bad, the lies and deception by the DOJ so egregious that this judge went so far as to accuse Flynn of Treason! He should be ashamed of that remark and punish the prosecutors and investigators for their abuse of power.
I am not sure how thrilled the circuit court will be to allow Sullivan to conduct a political three ring circus over an issue that the courts have been pretty clear on. I think there is a 50/50 chance they grant Powell’s petition even though they would normally not do it until Sullivan has actually ruled. The is a simple question of justice here. The end result is clear. The case must be dismissed and allowing Sullivan to further bankrupt Flynn is pretty much unconscionable.