Here's the part that annoys me...
In its court papers, the Justice Department says the Constitution does not permit the courts to resolve the political dispute between the executive branch and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that is seeking the records. The political branches have a long history of resolving disputes over congressional requests without judicial intervention, the court filing said.
If the lawsuit is allowed to go forward, "countless other suits by Congress are sure to follow, given the volume of document requests issued by the dozens of congressional committees that perform oversight functions," the Justice Department's court filing stated. "This case thus illustrates vividly why the judiciary must defer to the time-tested political process for resolution of such disputes."
Given that Congress has oversight duties, what good is their subpoena power if there is no force of law to back it up? If the court agrees with the administration, it would seem that future administrations could simply refuse to turn over documents and/or refuse subpoenas with near impunity. Congress would then be left with only one real alternative, which would be to revoke any monies for the agency(s), which is unlikely, especially if the administration's party holds the majority of Congress.
If memory serves, the courts settled an executive privilege
dispute before, during the Nixon administration. That was regarding an audio tape (with the infamous 18-minute gap).