D.C. Circuit Court Upholds Subpoena-Like Power for House Minority

Rohini Kurup
Tuesday, December 29, 2020, 4:18 PM

The court ruled 2-1 in favor of House Democrats demanding federal financial records of the Trump International Hotel.

Published by The Lawfare Institute
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In a 2-1 decision on Dec. 29, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld a subpoena-like power that can empower the minority in the House of Representatives. The court ruled that lawmakers can turn to the courts to enforce the seven-member rule—a little-known rule that allows any seven members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform to compel the executive branch to turn over material related to the committee’s mandate. The case involved disputed records related to the president’s Trump International Hotels, which Democratic lawmakers attempted to access using the seven-member rule in 2017 when they were in the minority.

The opinion can be found here and below:

Rohini Kurup is a J.D. candidate at the University of Virginia School of Law. Prior to law school, she worked as an associate editor of Lawfare and a research analyst at the Brookings Institution. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College.

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