- The Washington Times - Monday, November 18, 2013

The U.S. Department of Justice wants an appeal to a court ruling that allows the U.S. House of Representatives to proceed with contempt charges against U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. for his role in the botched “Fast and Furious” gun-running scheme.

Last year, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, along with the full House, voted to hold Mr. Holder in contempt for refusing to turn over some of the documents related to the program that ended up funneling weapons to Mexican drug cartels.

In September, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson allowed the case to proceed, but the Justice Department wants to send the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The department argues that the court’s ruling could disturb the separation of powers between the different branches of the federal government, among other arguments.

“The very experience of participating in such proceedings will cause harm — to the Defendant, the Executive Branch, and the separation of powers — that cannot be reversed if the D.C. Circuit ultimately rules in Defendant’s favor on the threshold questions presented,” the department argues in court documents. “In light of the harm to the separation of powers that such an adjudication would entail, including the impact of such proceedings on the negotiation process between the political Branches — a process that has generally proceeded without judicial involvement since the inception of congressional oversight — Defendant’s jurisdictional objections should be resolved by the Circuit before this Court takes such a momentous step.”