U.S. Supreme Court

Kagan temporarily blocks Jan. 6 committee subpoena for Arizona GOP leader's phone records

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AP Kelli Ward

Kelli Ward, chair of the Arizona Republican Party, has a news conference in Phoenix in November 2020. Photo by Ross D. Franklin/The Associated Press.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan on Wednesday issued an administrative stay that blocks a subpoena for a GOP official’s phone records by the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol attack.

Kagan’s stay order gives the full Supreme Court time to consider the emergency request by Kelli Ward, chair of the Arizona Republican Party, for an injunction pending appeal.

The Associated Press, Politico and the New York Times are among the publications with the story.

The Jan. 6 committee is not seeking information about the content or location of the calls, the New York Times explains. Instead, the committee is seeking metadata for calls placed by Ward and her husband, Michael Ward, between Nov. 1, 2020, and Jan. 31, 2021. The information sought includes the time and the duration of incoming and outgoing calls and the numbers involved.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco had ruled against the Wards on Oct. 22.

In their emergency application for a stay, the Wards argue that the case has “profound precedential implications for future congressional investigations and political associational rights under the First Amendment.”

Ward had cited the Fifth Amendment when she refused to answer committee questions about attempts to use false electors to overturn the 2020 election results. The Wards had signed documents claiming that they were the state’s actual electors, despite President Joe Biden’s win in the state, according to the AP.

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