Legal wrangling over Holder contempt vote could last past election

In 2008, when the House Judiciary Committee sued the Bush White House over the U.S. attorney scandal, it took a federal judge more than five months to issue an opinion siding with House Democrats’ challenge to the administration’s claim of immunity for White House officials from congressional subpoena.

Following that ruling, and fearing a precedent that could bind future presidents and Congresses, the two sides reached a compromise that allowed the White House officials to testify in private.

A similar delay in this case would take the outcome past Election Day, the results of which may convince one side or the other that a deal to defuse the stalemate is better than a judicial decision.