WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Monday rejected House Democrats' demands to force two of President Bush's top aides to cooperate with an investigation about the firings of nine federal prosecutors in 2006.
Time will run out on this year's congressional session before the battle between two branches of government can be resolved, according to the ruling by a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The ruling essentially delays any resolution until next year.
"Even if expedited, this controversy will not be fully and finally resolved by the judicial branch … before the 110th Congress ends on January 3, 2009. At that time, the 110th House of Representatives will cease to exist as a legal entity, and the subpoenas it has issued will expire," wrote the judges, two of whom were appointed by Republicans.
Monday's ruling blocks a July order by U.S. District Judge John Bates to force former White House counsel Harriet Miers to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and current presidential chief of staff Josh Bolten to turn over documents about the controversial firings.