Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure

Description:

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 inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas. The report also includes a detailed discussion of two recent information-access disputes that led to the approval of contempt citations in the House against then-White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder. Finally, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally-based limitations on the contempt power.

Creator(s): Garvey, Todd
Location(s): United States
Creation Date: August 17, 2012
Partner(s):
UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Collection(s):
Congressional Research Service Reports
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Creator (Author):
Garvey, Todd

Legislative Attorney

Publisher Info:
Place of Publication: Washington D.C.
Date(s):
  • Creation: August 17, 2012
Coverage:
Place
United States
Description:

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 inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas. The report also includes a detailed discussion of two recent information-access disputes that led to the approval of contempt citations in the House against then-White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder. Finally, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally-based limitations on the contempt power.

Physical Description:

82 pages.

Language(s):
Subject(s):
Partner:
UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Collection:
Congressional Research Service Reports
Identifier:
Resource Type: Report
Format: Text