Attorney General Eric Holder
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A House panel says it believes federal courts have the authority to decide a dispute in which Attorney General Eric Holder is refusing to provide Congress with Justice Department documents about a botched criminal investigation into gun-trafficking on the Southwest border.
In a 65-page filing Wednesday about Operation Fast and Furious, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said federal courts have routinely reviewed the validity of congressional inquiries. The lawyers for the House said Holder's contention that courts cannot adjudicate political disputes would permanently shut the courthouse doors to virtually all disputes between the executive and legislative branches.
In court papers filed last month, the Justice Department said the courts must defer to the time-tested political process of stepping aside and letting Congress and the executive resolve such disputes.