Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Thursday | April 17, 2003

Cheney slapped hard by appeals court

Lawyers for Veep Cheney, seeking an appellate court order halting efforts to release Energy Task Force documents, were slapped around by the three judge panel.

An appeals judge told lawyers for Vice President Richard Cheney on Thursday they had no basis to ask the court to intervene in a suit seeking White House energy policy papers, saying "you have no case." [...]

Appeals Judge Harry Edwards, who dominated the questioning during oral arguments by lawyers, said the Bush administration appeared to be arguing, wrongly, that it was immune from litigation.

"You pretend there is no law on the books. You have no case," Edwards lectured Justice Department attorney Gregory Katsas.

Many thought this issue was dead once the GAO dropped its case in February. But that decision did not affect the suit by the Sierra Club and Judicial Watch. A final decision won't be issued for a couple of months, but assuming it does the obvious, and deny Cheney's motion, the Energy Task Force will have to either 1) release some Task Force documents requested in the discovery portion of the trial, or 2) provide a detailed explanation of what they were withholding and why.

Any conclusion to this case won't happen until after the 2004 elections, so the best hope is to have the court force the release of at least some of these documents. There's a reason the administration is fighting their release, and it has nothing to do with "unfettered advice".

Posted April 17, 2003 12:28 PM | Comments (42)


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