US Supreme Court Decisions in Presidential Subpoena Cases: Implications for Private Parties

The Court’s recent rulings on state grand jury and congressional subpoenas identify important limitations on the purpose and scope of these investigative tools.

Key Points:

..In July 2020, the Court held that the President is not absolutely immune from a state grand jury subpoena, nor is a state subpoena for non-official papers of the President subject to a heightened standard.

..In a separate decision, the Court also held that congressional subpoenas for private information of the President must be subject to an analysis that appropriately accounts for separation of powers concerns.

..Although the decisions primarily concern constitutional issues involving the President, they also have direct implications for companies and individuals on the receiving end of state grand jury and congressional subpoenas. The cases reaffirm that subpoenas are searching investigative tools, but also identify a number of limitations on them. Notably, the Court suggested for the first time that recipients of congressional subpoenas retain common law and constitutional privileges that protect against the production of privileged materials.

Please see full Alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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