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The Problem: Congress has lost the authority to enforce subpoenas.

Inherent contempt enforcement has been the most effective of the three methods available to Congress for defending its institutional prerogatives against contumacious behavior and ensuring timely compliance with its information demands.  Congress employed it highly successfully and almost exclusively until 1935, even after enactment of the criminal contempt statute in 1857.  

Congress stopped employing inherent contempt after 1935 for three reasons: (a) the associated trials at the bar of either house consumed too much floor time, (b) the habeas corpus suits that invariably accompanied the arrests and detentions of alleged contemnors further delayed the process excessively, and (c) the arrest and incarceration of witnesses was perceived unseemly. Read more.

Our Mission

Good Government Now was founded to strengthen congressional subpoena enforcement to re-establish an appropriate constitutional balance between the legislative and executive branches.


Top Posts:

Inherent Contempt Fines Rule

The Problem: Rising Executive Branch Intransigence and Declining Congressional Oversight Effectiveness The refusal of executive branch officials to comply with ...
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GGN Inherent Contempt Fines Proposal Gaining Traction in House Leadership Discussions: Rep. Schiff Third Committee Chair To Consider

Recent news reports from NBC News, Reuters, Axios, HuffPost, The Hill, and other media outlets confirm that the modified inherent ...
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Can Congress Enforce their Subpoenas?

Federalist Society Article I Project Executive Director Nate Kaczmarek interviews Good Government Now President Dr. William J. Murphy about GGN's ...
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Recent Posts:

GGN Leads Bipartisan Coalition Urging Congress to Include Inherent Contempt Fines Provision in House Rules Package

Washington, DC – Good Government Now led a bipartisan coalition of eleven leading advocacy organizations who sent a letter to ...
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Bipartisan Coalition Letter Urging Congress to Include Inherent Contempt Fines Provision in House Rules Package

Good Government Now led a bipartisan coalition of eleven leading advocacy organizations who sent the following letter to the leadership ...
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Congress Has Power to Enforce Inherent Contempt Fines Unilaterally Using all Available Collection Methods

Representative Ted Lieu testifying is support of H.Res. 1029 The Congressional Inherent Contempt Resolution at the House Committee on Rules ...
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Favorable McGahn Decision Won’t Remedy Congressional Subpoena Enforcement Failures

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASETuesday, August 11, 2020 8:00amMedia Contact: Bill Murphy • wmurphy@goodgovernmentnow.org (610) 529-6494 (m) *Reliance on civil litigation fails ...
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Congress Should Subpoena Redfield; Enforce with Inherent Contempt Fines and Criminal Prosecution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEThursday, July 23, 2020 10:00am Quotes from GGN President Bill Murphy: Murphy: “Congress should compel CDC Director Redfield ...
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GGN Praises House Inherent Contempt Fines Resolution

Washington, DC – Advocacy group Good Government Now (GGN) praised the introduction today of a resolution proposing to establish an ...
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