Why did Chief Justice just intervene in Mueller’s mystery subpoena case?

Why did Chief Justice just intervene in Mueller’s mystery subpoena case?
Chief Justice John Roberts (Image: YouTube screen grab)

[Ed. – If we knew the answer, we’d write about this at greater length. The mystery party is a company, owned by a foreign government, that’s resisting the subpoena.  I doubt it’s Russia or Ukraine, although we really don’t know. Is it the UK, perhaps? Not clear when we’ll find out.]

The chief justice of the United States himself issued an order on a Sunday, in this very case. If you think that’s highly unusual, you’re right. And the action he took was equally unusual. At least for the moment calling into question the unanimous decisions of the courts below, the chief justice blocked the District Court’s order requiring the foreign corporation to comply with the grand jury subpoena, until the government’s lawyers could respond to the Corporation’s briefings. …

This month’s three-page summary D.C. Circuit decision revealed … revealed that a regulator from Country A had filed a submission claiming that compliance with the subpoena would cause the Corporation to violate Country A’s law.

[Roberts] is the “circuit justice” for the D.C. Circuit, meaning he is the justice assigned to receive emergency and other petitions arising from that circuit … So, we should not read too much into the fact that it is the chief justice in particular who acted here.

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