24 June 2004

What's going on here?

From the AP via Jim Hightower:

Court Won't Order Cheney Papers Released

By GINA HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer, June 22, 2004

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court refused Thursday to order the Bush administration to make public secret details of Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites)'s energy task force, but kept the case alive by sending it back to a lower court.

[. . .]

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.

[. . .]

Thursday's decision buys the administration more time. If it loses in the appeals court, the administration can return to the Supreme Court in another extended appeal before having to release information as to whether Cheney's task force was cozy with energy executives, including those with his former company, Halliburton.

[. . .]

The suing groups allege the industry representatives in effect functioned as members of the government panel, which included Cabinet secretaries and lower-level administration employees. The open government law requires advisory committees with nongovernment members to conduct their business in public, and allow the public to inspect their records.

Until the government produces some records it won't be clear who drafted the government's policies, lawyers for the Sierra Club and Judicial Watch argued.

Now, unlike many on the Left, I still give the Supreme Court Justices the benifit of the doubt after the 2000 election. I don't believe they are accessories to the rape of the nation that November, I sure as hell don't want to believe it, but they dropped the ball here. With all the questionable dealings concerning the Bush Administration vis a vis Enron, these documents and meeting minutes should be made available. In a sense, the Supremes are obstructing justice here. A state governor was brought down over California's energy crisis, a crisis evidence suggests was manufactured by energy corporations in an effort to bilk the citizens of California. I mean, after all, the Justices are officers of the court, aren't they?

Update 17:25: Lambert at Corrente isn't as generous toward SCOTUS as I am.

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