Chief Justice John Roberts has agreed to temporarily suspend a lower court order requiring the release of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns by the Internal Revenue Service to a Democratic-led House committee.
The tax returns were due to be submitted to the House Ways and Means Committee later this week.
Roberts requested a response by November 10.
An “administrative stay” is temporary in nature and does not always reflect the final resolution of the dispute. It’s a step often taken as the deadline approaches to maintain the status quo and give judges more time to act.
In a series of Trump-related emergency petitions in recent days, justice with jurisdiction has decided lower courts should issue such interim relief.
For example, Judge Elena Kagan issued such a stay on October 26 temporarily blocking a subpoena from the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6, 2021 attacks of the phones and text records of Arizona Republican Party Chairman Kelly Ward.
Judge Clarence Thomas suspended an order on October 24 requiring Republican Senator Lindsey Graham to testify before a grand jury in Georgia.
Roberts oversees the lower court that issued the order in the Trump IRS case, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The Congressional effort is an effort to provide the Democratic-led House of Representatives the most direct way to obtain long-overdue tax information.
Committee Chairman Richard Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat, first requested tax returns from the IRS in 2019, and the IRS, under the Trump administration, initially resisted turning them over. The case moved slowly until 2021, when the Department of Justice, under the Biden administration, changed its legal position and concluded that the IRS was obligated to comply with the commission’s request. A Trump-appointed judge ruled in favor of the House of Representatives late last year and the US Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to reverse that ruling, most recently by the full appeals court last week refusing to hear the case.
A separate legal case related to the House Oversight Committee’s pursuit of Trump’s tax information from his then-accounting firm ended in a settlement earlier this year, after a trip to the Supreme Court in 2020. In bringing the dispute with the Ways and Means Committee to the Supreme Court, Trump argues that the courts Dunya has clashed with the 2020 issue, known as Mazars.
This story has been updated with additional details.