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U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform v. Garland

The House Oversight and Reform Committee sued Attorney General William P. Barr and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross for refusing to comply with subpoenas the Committee issued as part of its investigation into the Trump Administration’s unsuccessful attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

Last Updated: April 20, 2021
Published: January 13, 2020

Note: The Brennan Center is not a participant in this case.

Summary

The House Oversight and Reform Committee sued Attorney General William P. Barr and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross for refusing to comply with subpoenas the Committee issued as part of its investigation into the Trump Administration’s unsuccessful attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

Case Background

The House Oversight and Reform Committee sued Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross for defying the Committee’s request for unredacted documents related to the Trump Administration’s unsuccessful attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The Committee contended that the subpoenaed documents “go to the heart” of its investigation into the origins of the question. The Committee claimed that Attorney General Barr and Secretary Ross lacked the legal power to disobey the subpoenas, which the Committee issued under the powers granted to it by Article I of the U.S. Constitution. 

The Committee asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief compelling Attorney General Barr and Secretary Ross defendants to immediately produce the subpoenaed documents.

On October 6, 2020, the court issued a stay of this case pending the D.C. Circuit's decision in Judiciary v. McGahn.

On August 30, 2021, House Oversight and Reform Committee and the Department of Justice filed a joint status report in which both parties reached an agreement intended to facilitate the end of the case.

On January 7, 2022, the Department of Justice completed production of documents requested by the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and both parties filed a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice. The case was dismissed with prejudice by the District of Columbia's District Court on January 12, 2022.

 

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