Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Don McGahn. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled 2-1 on Monday that House Democrats do not have the legal authority to enforce a subpoena against former White House counsel Don McGahn.

Why it matters: The majority opinion deals a severe blow to the House's investigative power, ruling that Congress must pass a law in order to enforce subpoenas in court. House Democrats on Monday immediately said they would appeal the decision and ask the full appeals court to rehear the case.

  • "This wrong-headed Court of Appeals panel ruling threatens to strike a grave blow to one of the most fundamental Constitutional roles of the Congress: to conduct oversight on behalf of the American people, including by issuing our lawful and legitimate subpoenas," Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

The big picture: Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have fought a lengthy battle to question McGahn — one of the most important witnesses in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation — regarding President Trump's alleged attempts to obstruct justice.

What they're saying: "Because the Committee lacks a cause of action to enforce its subpoena, this lawsuit must be dismissed," the majority opinion reads.

  • "We note that this decision does not preclude Congress (or one of its chambers) from ever enforcing a subpoena in federal court; it simply precludes it from doing so without first enacting a statute authorizing such a suit."
  • "If Congress (rather than a single committee in a single chamber thereof) determines that its current mechanisms leave it unable to adequately enforce its subpoenas, it remains free to enact a statute that makes the House’s requests for information judicially enforceable."

The other side: "[T]he Supreme Court has explained that the powers of Congress enumerated in the Article I of the Constitution imply not only a right to information but also a right to seek judicial enforcement of its subpoena," one of the appeals judges wrote in a dissenting opinion.

The bottom line: The case will continue to be delayed and McGahn will, for the moment, not be forced to testify.

Read the ruling.

Go deeper

Republicans block inaugural committee from recognizing Biden win

From left, Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi, Roy Blunt, Mitch McConnell, Amy Klobuchar. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Republicans on the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies voted against a resolution that would have affirmed the committee was preparing for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: By voting against the resolution, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy effectively blocked the committee from publicly recognizing Biden as president-elect.

NASA's Mars helicopter takes flight as first aircraft piloted on another planet

Ingenuity on the surface of Mars, filmed by NASA's Perseverance rover. Photo: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA successfully piloted the Ingenuity Mars helicopter for its first experimental flight on Monday, briefly hopping the aircraft as NASA's Perseverance rover collected data.

Why it matters: Ingenuity's short flight marks the first time a human-built aircraft has flown on a world other than Earth, opening the door to new means of exploring planets far from our own.

51 mins ago - Health

All U.S. adults now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

Healthcare workers getting COVID-19 vaccines on Dec. 16, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

All 50 U.S. states, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, have now made U.S. adults over the age of 16 eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, meeting President Biden's April 19 deadline.

Why it matters: The landmark speaks to the increased pace of the national vaccination campaign, but will increase pressure on the federal government, states and pharmaceutical companies to provide adequate vaccine supply and logistics.