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Tags: justice department | census | citizenship question | congress | lawsuit | subpoena

DOJ Argues Congress Can't Sue Executive Branch

department of justice logo showing a bald eagle
(Patrick Semansky/AP)

Thursday, 30 January 2020 04:05 PM EST

Congress cannot sue the executive branch, the Trump administration argued Thursday in a case over a House subpoena of documents about attempts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, The Hill reported.

Department of Justice lawyer James Burnham argued in District Court a House committee's subpoena attempt upsets the balance of power.

"If they are enforceable in the courts that would be a revolution in the history of the relationship between the branches," Burnham said, The Hill reported. "These cases would multiply like rabbits."

But Judge Randolph Moss seemed skeptical, The Hill reported.

"It seems to be kind of remarkable to suggest that Congress as an institution can't enforce its subpoenas," Moss said, noting without that right, subpoenas would be mere requests.

Burnham countered Congress could assert its legislative powers — like impeachment — a suggestion that conflicts with President Donald Trump's impeachment defense at his Senate trial, The Hill reported.

Trump's defense team has argued the president cannot be impeached on an obstruction charge for going to court to fight congressional subpoenas.

In the case of the census question documents, Moss ordered the two sides to continue negotiating and file a joint report Feb. 13.

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Newsfront
Stemming from a case over a House subpoena of documents about attempts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, the Trump administration argued Thursday that Congress cannot sue the executive branch.
justice department, census, citizenship question, congress, lawsuit, subpoena
196
2020-05-30
Thursday, 30 January 2020 04:05 PM
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