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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.


Recent Posts:

Video: “Can a Revised Inherent Contempt Procedure Strengthen Enforcement of House Subpoenas to the Executive Branch?” Panel Discussion, 10/19/18

"Can a Revised Inherent Contempt Procedure Strengthen Enforcement of House Subpoenas to the Executive Branch?”  Panel Discussion sponsored by Good Government ...
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Video: “Can the House Strengthen Civil Enforcement of Subpoenas to the Executive Branch through Rules Changes?” Panel Discussion, 9/21/18

Can the House Strengthen Civil Enforcement of Subpoenas to the Executive Branch through Rules Changes? Panel Discussion co-sponsored by Good Government ...
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Hear GGN’s Bill Murphy on The Fred Holland Show

Good Government Now president Bill Murphy appeared on The Fred Holland Show to discuss our recent Capitol Hill event on ...
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Thanks to All Who Attended Our Capitol Hill Event on Friday, 10/19/2018

On Friday, October 18, 2018, Good Government Now hosted another panel discussion on the topic, "Can a Revised Inherent Contempt ...
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Media Alert: Experts to Debate Inherent Contempt Enforcement Rule of House Subpoenas on Capitol Hill Friday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 15th, 2018 Contact: Gabriella Hoffman, media@goodgovernmentnow.org, 202-753-2626 Experts to Debate Proposed House Inherent Contempt Enforcement Procedure ...
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Hear GGN’s Bill Murphy on Stacy on the Right Show

Good Government Now's Bill Murphy appeared on The Stacy on the Right Show yesterday to discuss his recent column in ...
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