A major win for executive power:
President Donald Trump scored a major legal victory on Friday when a federal appeals court panel ruled Democrats have no right to hear testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s ruling overturned a lower court decision requiring McGahn’s testimony and told the judge presiding over the case to dismiss it outright. The ruling is a blow to House Democrats’ attempts to break the Trump administration’s intransigent stance that it can block Congress from talking to witnesses.
It also shows how stupid and partisan Count 2 of impeachment was.
The logic used in this decision is mind-boggling.
"If federal courts were to swoop in to rescue Congress whenever its constitutional tools failed, it would not just supplement the political process; it would replace that process with one in which unelected judges become the perpetual 'overseer(s)' of our elected officials. That is not the role of judges in our democracy, and that is why Article III compels us to dismiss this case," - Judge Thomas Griffith, in the opinion
They specifically are NOT ruling on the validity of the WH's claims of "absolute immunity". What this language is doing is just washing their hands of it and saying the courts are not there to enforce Congress' desires.
The two judges in the majority of this 2-1 decision, Griffith & Henderson, were both notably GOP appointees.
So this means that, per the decision of these two judges, Congress cannot rely on the judicial branch to back up the legislative branch when it comes to the latter's powers of oversight over the executive branch. They must only make use of their own "constitutional tools" to do so.
Does this mean that the House should just send out it's Sergeant At Arms to arrest folks and force them to testify? Do they need to grow that into an actual separate police force? Is that where we are headed?
Otherwise, we are looking at an executive branch that is without check.
And Republicans used to scream about Obama overreaching with executive power?
How are Republicans going to feel about these sorts of decisions when, inevitably, the wheel turns and Democrats retake the Whitehouse?
This decision is still subject to appeals, of course. But I'm not putting much faith that the current SCOTUS won't deliver yet another rubber stamp for the WH.