Skip to main content

Word from sources that Federal District Judge John Bates has denied the White House the stay it sought in the House Judiciary Committee's suit to enforce its contempt of Congress citations against Harriet Miers and Joshua Bolten.

Bates' opinion, while ostensibly dealing with the Miers and Bolten cases, was clearly written with the Karl Rove contempt freshly in mind as well.

Without the stay in place, Miers and Bolten are under court order to appear before the House Judiciary Committee for questioning in connection with the dismissals of the U.S. Attorneys. No such order is currently in place for Rove, but Bates was clear in his reasoning that Rove would have even less grounds for any refusal to appear than Miers and Bolten ever did, since the White House has never actually asserted any executive privilege claims with respect to Rove's testimony. Miers and Bolten, though, would technically still be in compliance with the order if they agreed to appear, but asserted the same claims of executive privilege in person that they did in letters from their attorneys before. Rove, if he continues to refuse to appear, would undoubtedly find himself subject to a court order to appear. But he's not under one now.

Living in Republican Crazytown as we do, we still have to ask the question, "What if?"

What if Rove refuses to take the hint? Or for that matter, what if he refuses to appear, has a court order entered against him, and refuses anyway? Or if Miers and/or Bolten do the same?

Then we face the question that has always been at the bottom of this issue: can Article III force Article II to appear before Article I? Or more specifically, can Article III order Article II to arrest itself and bring it before Article I?

What will Bates do if his order is defied? And how much patience will he have with continued gamesmanship -- e.g., an appearance before the committee that nonetheless produces questionable claims of executive privilege, or the entirely ridiculous "absolute immunity" claims Rove has made? Given that Bates was clearly factoring in the time limitations of Congressional subpoenas in his earlier opinion, he'll have to come down on Miers/Bolten/Rove like a ton of bricks if he wants to stay true to his ruling.

We'll see.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Aug 26, 2008 at 01:19 PM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site