LegBranch Event

Can a revised inherent contempt procedure strengthen enforcement of House subpoenas to the executive branch?

Video available here.

The executive branch has challenged congressional oversight, investigative, and subpoena enforcement authority ever more boldly over the past few decades. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has pursued a deliberate strategy of preventing Congress from using its historically most effective inherent and criminal contempt enforcement procedures through litigation, internal legal opinions, and departmental policies. The situation has deteriorated so significantly, that more than one observer has remarked that congressional subpoenas to the executive branch have become meaningless.

A distinguished panel of congressional oversight experts including former House General Counsel Stanley M. Brand and Project on Government Oversight Director of Public Policy Elizabeth Hempowicz will consider whether an amendment to House rules establishing a revised inherent contempt enforcement procedure proposed by Good Government Now Senior Fellow Morton Rosenberg can reinvigorate congressional subpoena enforcement power in this luncheon panel discussion.


  • Morton Rosenberg – Senior Fellow, Good Government Now and former Specialist in American Public Law at the Congressional Research Service for thirty-five years.
  • Stanley M. Brand – Senior Counsel, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and former U.S. House General Counsel
  • Elizabeth Hempowicz – Director of Public Policy, Project on Government Oversight


  • Dr. William J. Murphy – President, Good Government Now
Topics: Oversight
Tags: video
Location: Rayburn House Office Building
Room 2226
45 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20515
Date: Oct 19, 2018  ·  12:00 pm - 1:30 pm