In the decision on congressional subpoenas, Trump v. Mazars USA, No. 19-715, Chief Justice Roberts stressed the novelty of the question before the court. Earlier disputes between Congress and the president, he wrote, had been worked out by accommodation rather than litigation.
He wrote that the House had acknowledged “essentially no limits on the congressional power to subpoena the president’s personal records.”
Under the House’s theory, he wrote, “Congress could declare open season on the president’s information held by schools, archives, internet service providers, email clients and financial institutions.”
Chief Justice Roberts said lower courts should assess whether the records were truly needed by performing “a careful analysis that takes adequate account of the separation of powers principles at stake, including both the significant legislative interests of Congress and the unique position of the president.”
The six justices who voted with the chief justice in the New York case joined his opinion on the congressional subpoenas.