Recently, Chinese tech company Huawei moved for summary judgment in its lawsuit against the United States. By doing so, Huawei argues there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on its claim concerning the constitutionality of section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.
Huawei – which operates its American headquarters in Plano, Texas – alleges that a military spending provision preventing government agencies from using the company’s telecom equipment is unconstitutional. By moving for summary judgment, Huawei seeks to accelerate the lawsuit it filed against the U.S. government earlier this year.
In March 2019, Huawei filed a lawsuit against the U.S. alleging that sections of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) single out technology made by Huawei as “covered telecommunications equipment or services,” thus restricting their use by government agencies and contractors.
Specifically, the company takes issue with the fact that §889 of the 2019 NDAA calls out Huawei Technologies by name as a restricted provider of telecommunications equipment. By selectively targeting Huawei, the company argues, §889 is an unconstitutional bill of attainder.
When Huawei announced the lawsuit, the company’s rotating chairman Guo Ping said, “The U.S. Congress has repeatedly failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions on Huawei products.”
U.S. Commerce Department temporarily eases restrictions
Earlier this month, the U.S. government temporarily authorized Huawei to purchase American-made equipment to maintain its existing telecommunications networks across the country. According to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, the 90-day window is intended to give providers in the U.S. who rely on equipment from Huawei time to find replacements.
In our next post, we will take a closer look at Huawei’s motion for summary judgement and what it might mean for the case going forward.
John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 §889(f)(3)(a).
U.S. Const. art. I, §9, cl. 3 “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.” A bill of attainder is generally understood as a legislative act that singles out an individual or group for punishment without a trial.