A federal judge on Wednesday ordered a brief pause on her ruling that ex-White House Counsel Don McGahn must show up for testimony compelled by Congress.
The pause ordered by the judge is only a seven-day administrative stay, and the House of Representatives, which brought the original lawsuit to enforce its subpoena, had already signaled that it did not oppose such an order. During the seven-day stay, the judge, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, will consider whether to halt her ruling for a longer period of time while the Trump administration appeals it.
“This Minute Order should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of the motion for stay pending appeal,” she said in her Wednesday order.
The Justice Department earlier Wednesday had also asked an appeals court to pause Judge Jackson’s ruling backing the McGahn subpoena.
On Monday, Judge Jackson issued a sweeping ruling dismantling the administration’s claims that an “absolute” immunity shielded McGahn from being compelled to show up for testimony.
In its request to the appeals court Wednesday morning, the administration signaled it was prepared to take the case up to the Supreme Court — and quickly, if need be.
Here is Judge Jackson’s order:
MINUTE ORDER. The Department of Justice has filed a motion for a stay pending appeal and also requested an immediate administrative stay to give this Court time to consider and rule upon its motion. (See Def.’s Mot. for Stay Pending Appeal and for Immediate Admin. Stay, ECF No. 49.) The Judiciary Committee opposes the motion to stay pending appeal, but as a courtesy to this Court, has consented to an administrative stay of seven days. (See Pl.’s Opp’n to Def.’s Mot. for a Stay Pending Appeal, ECF No. 51, at 3.) Given the Court’s need for time to consider the merits of DOJs motion for stay pending appeal, it is hereby ORDERED that the Court’s November 26, 2019, Order (ECF No. 47) is administratively stayed. This Minute Order should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of the motion for stay pending appeal. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 11/27/2019. (lckbj3, )