RELEASE: McGahn Ruling “Weakens Congress’s Ability to Perform its Constitutional Duty”
WASHINGTON – On news today that a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, in a 2-1 ruling, dismissed a lawsuit by the House Judiciary Committee to enforce a subpoena of President Trump’s former White House Counsel Don McGahn, Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra issued the following reaction:
We’re profoundly disappointed by today’s ruling in Committee on the Judiciary v. McGahn. As the dissent by Judge Rogers explains, “the Supreme Court and this court have long recognized that the ability to acquire information is indispensable to Congress’s performance of its constitutional roles” and “the power of inquiry, including the power to issue a subpoena and thereby compel a witness to appear before the House, is critically important to the efficacy of the impeachment power.” Today’s ruling, if allowed to stand, threatens to weaken Congress’s ability to perform its constitutional duty and its role in our tripartite governmental structure. Whether in service of its investigative or legislative functions, Congress needs to be able to access information.
“ISSUE BRIEF: The Historical and Legal Basis for the Exercise of Congressional Oversight Authority,” by Brianne Gorod, Ashwin Phatak, and Brian Frazelle, January 30, 2019: https://www.theusconstitution.org/think_tank/issue-brief-the-historical-and-legal-basis-for-the-exercise-of-congressional-oversight-authority/
Constitutional Accountability Center is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history. Visit CAC’s website at www.theusconstitution.org.