By a 7-to-1 vote, the Supreme Court has ruled that trial judges can review and limit the subpoena power of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The decision reverses a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which had overturned a trial judge’s decision that the EEOC was overstepping its investigative authority.
The ruling affirms that trial judges, who are more familiar with the cases in question, should be the ones deciding when the EEOC is overstepping its subpoena powers, not appellate justices. Appellate courts should review lower courts’ decisions on EEOC investigations solely for abuse of discretion, the Supreme Court ruled.
The case was McLane v. EEOC.