Inherent Contempt Enforcement Rule

Good Government Now (GGN) is recommending that the U.S. House of Representatives address the crisis in the declining effectiveness of congressional oversight of the executive branch by adopting our proposed “Inherent Contempt Enforcement Rule” which would strengthen congressional subpoena and contempt enforcement by creating a process whereby the House could conduct trials of, convict, and directly sanction executive branch officials who obstruct the legislative information gathering process.

Dr. Murphy in The Hill: Congress Should Invoke Revised Inherent Contempt Procedure in DOJ Subpoena Standoff

The Hill, September 5, 2018
The U.S. House should invoke a revised version of its historical inherent contempt enforcement power to address the refusal of Department of Justice (DOJ) officials to comply with congressional subpoenas seeking information such as occurred with the Clinton email and Russia investigations.  Inherent contempt refers to the centuries-old practice of the U.S. Congress and other parliamentary bodies of defending their institutional authority and punishing contempts by holding trials to convict and sanction individuals who obstruct the legislative process.

Experts to Debate Proposed Rule to Strengthen Civil Enforcement of House Subpoenas

Good Government Now and the Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group are hosting a panel discussion titled “Can the House Strengthen Civil Enforcement of Subpoenas to the Executive Branch through Rules Changes?” on Capitol Hill this Friday, September 21st, 2018, from 12-1:30pm in Rayburn 2226. A panel of congressional oversight experts will debate the merits of a proposal by Good Government Now Senior Fellow Michael L. Stern to strengthen enforcement of congressional subpoenas of executive branch officials through a change to House rules.