Wednesday, July 25, 2007

On Contempt for Congress...Power...

From Secrecy News:


A major new report from the Congressional Research Service provides a
detailed account of Congress's contempt power, including the use of
contempt proceedings to coerce compliance with congressional demands
for information or testimony and to punish non-compliance.

"This report examines the source of the contempt power, reviews the
historical development of the early case law, outlines the statutory
and common law basis for Congress's contempt power, and analyzes the
procedures associated with each of the three different types of
contempt proceedings. In addition, the report discusses limitations
both nonconstitutional and constitutionally based on the power."

The 68-page report also examines the Justice Department position that
"Congress cannot, as a matter of statutory or constitutional law,
invoke either its inherent contempt authority or the criminal contempt
of Congress procedures against an executive branch official acting on
instructions by the President to assert executive privilege in response
to a congressional subpoena."

See "Congress's Contempt Power: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure,"
July 24, 2007:


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