A member of the left wing of the U.S. Supreme Court has thwarted efforts by the House committee investigating the Capitol intrusion on January 6, 2021, to review the phone records of the Arizona Republican Party chair.
The Hill reports that Justice Elena Kagan temporarily prevented the panel’s access to the phone records of Dr. Kelli Ward and her husband, Mark Ward.
“Upon review of the application of counsel for the applicants, it is ordered that the October 22, 2022 order of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, case No. 22-16473, is stayed pending further order of the undersigned or of the Court.”
“Likewise, respondent T-Mobile USA, Inc. is temporarily enjoined from releasing the records requested by the House Select Committee pending further order of the undersigned or of the Court.
“It is further ordered that a response to the application be filed on or before Friday, October 28, 2022, by 5 p.m. (EDT).”
Kagan got involved because she is the judge designated to oversee Arizona’s emergency requests.
The Wards filed a lawsuit to prevent access to their telephone records. CNN reports that after losing their case in district court, they appealed, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit denied their request to safeguard their data by a vote of 2-1.
This resulted in the emergency call to Kagan. In their appeal, the Wards stated, “This is a unique case with substantial precedent ramifications for future congressional investigations and political associational rights under the First Amendment.”
“In a first-of-its-kind situation, a select committee of the United States Congress, dominated by one political party, has subpoenaed the personal telephone and text message records of a state chair of the rival political party relating to one of the most contentious political events in American history—the 2020 election and the Capitol riot of January 6, 2021.”
The appeal portrayed the case as having the potential to create a terrible precedent.
“If Dr. Ward’s telephone and text message records are disclosed, congressional investigators are going to contact every person who communicated with her during and immediately after the tumult of the 2020 election. That is not speculation, it is a certainty. There is no other reason for the Committee to seek this information,” the Wards’ filing said.
“There can be no greater chill on public participation in partisan politics than a call, visit, or subpoena, from federal investigators,” they wrote.
The appellate panel ruled against the Wards, saying the federal subpoena “is substantially related to the important government interest in investigating the causes of the January 6 attack and protecting future elections from similar threats.”
More on this story via The Western Journal:
“The investigation, after all, is not about Ward’s politics; it is about her involvement in the events leading up to the January 6 attack, and it seeks to uncover those with whom she communicated in connection with those events,” Judges Barry Silverman and Eric Miller wrote in the majority opinion. “That some of the people with whom Ward communicated may be members of a political party does not establish that the subpoena is likely to reveal ‘sensitive information about [the party’s] members and supporters.’” CONTINUE READING…