US government lawyers asked a court to dismiss a legal action filed by Huawei, arguing the vendor is not covered by the constitutional protection it laid claim to.

The case involves a lawsuit Huawei filed in March challenging a 2018 law banning federal agencies from using its kit. Huawei argued the measure violated the US Constitution’s Bill of Attainder Clause, which bars politicians from passing laws which target parties for punishment without a trial.

However, federal lawyers asserted in a recent court filing this defence is “unavailable to corporations like Huawei” since the scope of the clause had historically been limited “to protecting the rights of natural persons” from retribution for their political beliefs.

They also noted corporations are incapable of suffering many of the punishments covered by the legal provision: “Suffice it to say, Huawei is unlike the vulnerable political victims that the Bill of Attainder Clause was meant to protect.”

The filing follows a hearing held in September, during which The Wall Street Journal reported Huawei’s legal team argued the company had been “severely wounded” by the law in question.

Huawei has until 18 October to submit a response to the court, Law360 reported.

The case is just one front in a multi-faceted battle between Huawei and the US government: the vendor is also facing a trade ban and accusations of IP theft.