Judge Gardephe has granted the House’s motion for a state pending appeal of his order enforcing the SEC’s administrative subpoenas to the House Ways & Means Committee and its former staffer. In addition to finding that the balance of hardships weighed in the House’s favor (which seems fair), the court found there to be a “serious question” going to the merits of the legal dispute between the parties.
As far as one can tell from the stay ruling, this “serious question” relates to how the court applied the Speech or Debate privilege to the information sought by the subpoenas. The only specific issue mentioned, however, is “whether the Speech or Debate Clause provides a non-disclosure privilege for ‘legislative act’ documents.” Since the court resolved that issue in the House’s favor, it seems odd it would count as a serious question justifying a stay of the court’s ruling.
In any event, it looks like the Second Circuit will get a crack at this interesting case.