Court Won't Order Cheney Papers Released
June 24, 2004
Remember this is the same Supreme Court that appointed him Vice President. The White House memos are now public showing that the VP's office operated as the sole arbitrator of who got Iraq contracts.
Then we have Dick Cheney flying Justice Scalia around on Airforce Two to lavish hunting lodges for duck hunting and fly fishing -- while Scalia was hearing the case. This is like Al Capone taking the judge out on an all-expenses paid vaction while he's in the judge's court. This is just corruption gone to seed.
June 24, 2004
The Supreme Court refused Thursday to order the Bush administration to make public secret details of Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force, but kept the case alive by sending it back to a lower court.
Justices said 7-2 that a lower court should consider whether a federal open government law could be used to get documents of the task force.
The decision extends the legal fight over the information. Justices could have allowed a judge to immediately move ahead with ordering the release of the papers.
The issues in the case have been overshadowed by conflict-of-interest questions about one justice.
Justice Antonin Scalia had defiantly refused to step down from hearing the case involving Cheney, despite criticism that his impartiality has been brought into question because of a hunting vacation that he took with Cheney will the court was considering the vice president's appeal.
"Special considerations applicable to the president and the vice president suggest that the courts should be sensitive to requests by the government" in such special appeals, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority.
Shortly after taking office, President Bush put Cheney, a former energy industry executive, in charge of the task force which, after a series of private meetings in 2001, produced recommendations generally friendly to industry.
The Sierra Club, a liberal environmental club, and Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, sued. They argued that the public has a right to information about committees like Cheney's. The organizations contended that environmentalists were shut out of the meetings, while executives like former Enron Corp. Chairman Kenneth Lay were key task force players.
The Bush administration argued that privacy is important for candid White House discussions on difficult issues. The high court did not specifically address that question, however.
The case had become a potentially embarrassing election-year problem for the administration.