Huawei has faced a setback in its pursuit of legitimacy in the US. as a Texas District Court ruled against its lawsuit directed towards the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Judge Amos Mazzant of the US District Court in East Texas ruled that section 889 of the NDAA was valid and legal. Huawei had argued the clause, which effectively banned it and ZTE from working with any company receiving federal funding, was unconstitutional on the grounds it presumed guilt without a fair trial.
While a Huawei victory was hardly going to make an impression with the single-minded White House policy makers, this is a victory for the Government, seemingly validating its decision.
“Contracting with the federal government is a privilege, not a constitutionally guaranteed right – at least not as far as this court is aware,” Judge Mazzant said in the ruling, first reported by Reuters.
This is an interesting nuance which has been put forward by Judge Mazzant. Huawei has argued the clause banning service providers from spending federal money on Chinese equipment is unconstitutional, though Judge Mazzant has stated that the Government should have the right to control how its money is allocated and spent. The Act does not prevent Huawei from doing business in the US entirely, which keeps the Government on the right side of the line.
The lawsuit, which was filed in March 2019, stated that Congress was acting in violation of the US Constitution as it was denying the firm the right to bid on both Government and private sector contracts. Huawei suggested the Act was a Bill of Attainder, as it presumed guilt without trial. Under Article I Section 9 in federal law, and in state law under Article I Section 10, US Constitution forbids such actions.
For the US, this could add some momentum to the already existing propaganda campaign against China and seemingly all companies from China. This ruling could add buoyancy to the Simple Resolution which has recently been passed in the House of Representatives.
The resolution, which can be used to influence administrative actions and foreign policy, stated that the House of Representatives believed all Chinese countries were effectively under Government control, state-owned or private. Such a broad-brush approach to condemnation is a very dangerous and small-minded approach to take, though the anti-China rhetoric could be offered a new lease of live…
My bill, H.R. 4998, will ensure that the federal government goes even further to ensure federal funds only support secure and trusted communications systems. @Huawei is NOT secure and NOT trusted. Its products should not be used in our networks. https://t.co/gY07z9hBd9
— Rep. Frank Pallone (@FrankPallone) February 19, 2020