Skip to comments.Congress’ Contempt Power & Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law History Practice & Procedure
Posted on 03/30/2014 11:30:51 AM PDT by BCrago66
Fun excerpt, from footnote 79:
Given Congresss plenary power over the District of Columbia, the contemnor could potentially be detained or jailed in a D.C. Metropolitan Police Department facility. See Art. I § 8 (The Congress shall have Power
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District
become the Seat of the Government of the United States.)
(Excerpt) Read more at fas.org ...
It's hard to post who whole thing, because the footnotes would get scrambled with the text, but the PDF is available at the link, and I'll post a couple of the good parts in a subsequent comment.
Here is some additional information regarding Congressional inquiry, subpoena, and enforcement
From page 2 (note the first "formal method"):
Congress has three formal methods by which it can combat non-compliance with a duly issued subpoena. Each of these methods invokes the authority of a separate branch of government. First, the long dormant inherent contempt power permits Congress to rely on its own constitutional authority to detain and imprison a contemnor until the individual complies with congressional demands. Second, the criminal contempt statute permits Congress to certify a contempt citation to the executive branch for the criminal prosecution of the contemnor. Finally, Congress may rely on the judicial branch to enforce a congressional subpoena. Under this procedure, Congress may seek a civil judgment from a federal court declaring that the individual in question is legally obligated to comply with the congressional subpoena.
Page 11 - 12 (on a 1821 Supreme Court case on Congress' contempt power):
The Anderson decision indicates that Congresss contempt power is centered on those actions committed in its presence that obstruct its deliberative proceedings. The Court noted that Congress could supplement this power to punish for contempt committed in its presence by enacting a statute, which would prohibit all other insults which there is any necessity for providing.
The Court in Anderson also endorsed the existing parliamentary practice that the contemnor could not be held beyond the end of the legislative session. According to the Court, [s]ince the existence of the power that imprisons is indispensable to its continuance, and although the legislative power continues perpetual, the legislative body ceases to exist, on the moment of its adjournment or periodical dissolution. It follows, that imprisonment must terminate with that adjournment.
Finally, in Kilbourn v. Thompson, the Court suggested that in certain cases where the Congress had authority to investigate, it may compel testimony in the same manner and by use of the same means as a court of justice in like cases. Specifically, the Court noted that [w]hether the power of punishment in either House by fine or imprisonment goes beyond this or not, we are sure that no person can be punished for contumacy as a witness before either House, unless his testimony is required in a matter into which that House has jurisdiction to inquire....
In comparison with the other types of contempt proceedings, inherent contempt has the distinction of not requiring the cooperation or assistance of either the executive or judicial branches. The House or Senate can, on its own, conduct summary proceedings and cite the offender for contempt. Furthermore, although the contemnor can seek judicial review by means of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, the scope of such review may be relatively limited, compared to the plenary review accorded by the courts in cases of conviction under the criminal contempt statute.
Footnote 79 on page 15:
Given Congresss plenary power over the District of Columbia, the contemnor could potentially be detained or jailed in a D.C. Metropolitan Police Department facility. See Art. I § 8 (The Congress shall have Power To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District as may become the Seat of the Government of the United States.).
Those interested should read the while thing. But these passages may pique your interest, and they also - through Google & Bing - make this report more prominent on the Internet generally.
“Contempt”. Big deal.
Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress for `thumbing his nose’ at the House Oversight Committee over `Fast and Furious’, like Lerner and IRS corruption.
(Boehner is meeting today with the GOP-e over that pesky Tea Party, right? With Dem approbation.)
If Issa & Co. find Lerner in contempt—probably towards the end of this year, if at all—then, when this session of Congress adjourns any citation against Lerner, as with Holder, simply evaporates. She will be back in business, like Holder.
The House `Oversight committee’ is a joke led by a GOP-e lackey; it’s a shell game being run by Republicrats.
We’re on our own ... and by `we’ I mean the mouse in my pocket & me, and the American people.
If you spend more than 5 seconds looking at the document I posted, or even the excerpts I just posted above, then you’ll see your mistake.
OK maybe not 5 seconds. Try 45 seconds. Then the scales will fall from your eyes,
Pg 69: <>The privilege against self-incrimination may be waived by declining to assert it, specifically disclaiming it, or testifying on the same matters as to which the privilege is later asserted. <>
Prison stripes for Lerner. Challenge the rats to paint her as a martyr.
The lawyer from ACME law School who advised Lerner to give that little “I broke no laws” speech before asserting the 5th should get sued for malpractice.