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DC Circuit issues temporary stay blocking Miers testimony

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [official website] has issued a temporary stay delaying the enforcement of a district court ruling compelling the testimony [JURIST report] of former White House Counsel and US Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers before the House Judiciary Committee in connection with the US Attorneys firing scandal [JURIST news archive]. The Thursday stay, which also temporarily suspends the ruling ordering current White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten [official profile] to turn over all documents subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee, will give the Court of Appeals time to consider the merits of briefs from the US Department of Justice and the Judiciary Committee. The Public Record has more.

In July, District Judge John Bates rejected arguments [opinion, PDF] that senior White House officials are protected from congressional subpoena by executive privilege. In February, members of the House voted [JURIST report] to hold Miers in contempt of Congress [Cornell LII backgrounder] for failing to testify and both Miers and Bolten in contempt for refusing to produce documents related to the attorney firings.

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