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A closer look at Huawei's motion for summary judgment

In our last post, we discussed Huawei's case against the United States government and its allegations that Section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act ("NDAA") is unconstitutional.

Specifically, Huawei claims the NDAA violates the Bill of Attainder, Due Process, and Vesting Clauses - which prohibit "trials by legislature" and ensure due process and the independent exercise of executive and judicial powers - by naming the company a restricted telecommunications provider.

In the last few weeks, the Chinese telecommunications company has made waves in the media by discussing the case and attempting to garner support from others in the industry - including Google.

Today, we take a closer look at the Huawei's motion for summary judgment, filed at the end of May.

The purpose of a motion for summary judgment

A motion for summary judgment proposes that there are no genuine issues of material fact and that the motioning party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.1 Put simply, the party moving for summary judgment argues that the law in their case speaks for itself.

A motion for summary judgement attempts to speed up the litigation process by obtaining a judgement or resolving some claims before proceeding to trial.

Huawei's argument

Huawei proposes that the case presents a question of the Constitutionality of the NDAA, with no disputes of fact to resolve. For example, there is no dispute that §889 explicitly names Huawei as a restricted telecommunications provider. Rather, Huawei argues, the issue lies with the law itself - pointing to ways in which the NDAA inhibits its ability to do business in the United States.

Additionally, Huawei argues the NDAA operates as an unconstitutional punishment because the statute applies even if the company can prove it is not owned or controlled by the Chinese government.3

Looking ahead

In today's complex markets, ensuring companies can conduct business without interference is a challenging endeavor. Huawei seems to have an uphill battle ahead of it but could have a profound impact on the telecom market should its argument against the government prove successful.

1 Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a).

2 Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(b).

3 See Huawei's Motion for Summary Judgement at 31-32.

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