US Judge rejects Huawei’s constitutional challenge

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A US federal judge has rejected Huawei’s constitutional challenge to a US law that restricted its ability to do business with federal agencies and their contractors, ruling that Huawei does not have grounds to sue the U.S. government.

District Judge Amos Mazzant determined that Congress acted within its powers when it passed the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, including a provision that precludes agencies and contractors from buying certain equipment from Huawei and fellow Chinese company ZTE.

A Huawei spokesman said the company was disappointed in the loss.

“While we understand the paramount significance of national security, the approach taken by the U.S. Government in the 2019 NDAA provides a false sense of protection while undermining Huawei’s constitutional rights. We will continue to consider further legal options,” a spokesman said.

The government was pleased with the ruling, a Justice Department spokesman said.

Huawei filed the lawsuit in March 2019, saying a law limiting its U.S. business was unconstitutional.

Huawei had challenged Section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law by U.S. President Trump, which bars federal agencies and their contractors from procuring its equipment and services. Huawei lost on a summary judgment decision.

Among its many arguments, Huawei argued that the NDAA was overbroad in restricting its sales and violated due process.

Judge Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas disagreed on both counts, saying that the NDAA was “appropriately tailored to the burdens imposed” and said he was unpersuaded that the law impairs Huawei’s existing and future contracts.

Though Mazzant found senators made “concerning comments” directed specifically at Huawei, including remarks that the company deserved “the death penalty,” the words of individual lawmakers could not be used to determine the intent of Congress at large.

The court also determined that Congress did not prevent Huawei from doing business in the U.S., but rather exercised its power to control how the federal government spends its money. It’s akin to a customer taking its business elsewhere, the judge said.

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