Constitutional Perfect Storm (almost)

Gordon Silverstein gsilver at berkeley.edu
Wed Jul 11 13:28:41 PDT 2007


Bush has now "ordered" Harriet Miers to refuse to appear before
Congressional Committee and to ignore the subpeona, arguing she has
unqualified and total immunity from congressional investigations.

That's a constitutional confrontation of the first order, to be sure. But
... imagine if Miers had been confirmed to the Supreme Court?

Congress would be issuing a subpeona to a sitting Supreme Court Justice who
would be under "orders" from the President to refuse to testify, generating
a sure-fire Supreme Court test of the powers of congressional committees to
compel testimony ... the perfect storm of separation of powers
confrontations ..... 



July 11, 2007
Miers Will Not Appear Before Committee, Lawyer Says 
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 4:05 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush ordered his former White House counsel,
Harriet Miers, to defy a congressional subpoena and refuse to testify
Thursday before a House panel investigating U.S. attorney firings.

''Ms. Miers has absolute immunity from compelled congressional testimony as
to matters occurring while she was a senior adviser to the president,''
White House Counsel Fred Fielding wrote in a letter to Miers' lawyer, George
T. Manning.

Manning, in turn, notified committee chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., that
Miers would not show up Thursday to answer questions about the White House
role in the firings of eight federal prosecutors over the winter.



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