Skip to comments.Cheney Won't Release Energy Papers
Posted on 09/04/2002 1:57:00 PM PDT by GeneD
Filed at 4:31 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Citing constitutional concerns, Vice President Dick Cheney and the White House are refusing to turn over information in two lawsuits against the Bush administration's energy task force.
In court papers filed this week, the Justice Department said that requiring Cheney's energy task force to produce documents and provide written answers to Judicial Watch and the Sierra Club would interfere with the executive branch's authority to give confidential advice to the president.
``Further responses'' by Cheney and the task force ``would impose upon the Executive unconstitutional burdens,'' the Justice Department wrote. The information the two private groups are seeking is ``under the direct control of -- and therefore from -- the president of the United States.''
Judicial Watch and the Sierra Club are attempting to learn the details of industry influence on the national energy plan which Cheney's task force formulated more than a year ago. The results of that plan, a comprehensive energy package, are before a House-Senate conference committee.
The latest move by the Bush administration in the two court cases will require further rulings by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who has already ordered evidence-gathering to proceed in the lawsuits. The judge has said he wants the process to be narrowly focused to avoid raising constitutional issues. Sullivan had given the administration until Tuesday to file any objections. The next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 13.
Various federal agencies that are also defendants in the two cases have produced thousands of pages of documents to the two private groups. The administration is objecting to the requests to Cheney, two assistants to the president, the former executive director of the energy task force and the task force itself.
``Judge Sullivan made it clear that he would not tolerate this type of gamesmanship,'' Larry Klayman, chairman and general counsel of Judicial Watch, a conservative group, said Wednesdsay.
"Such a ruling would eviscerate the understanding of checks and balances between the three branches of government on which our constitutional order depends," said the judge, who was appointed to the bench by former President Bill Clinton.
Source: Associated Press
Judge says Bush view of Executive Privilege is too Expansive
Judge Sullivan was appointed United States District Judge for the District of Columbia in July 1994. He received a B.A. in 1968 from Howard University and a J.D. in 1971 from the Howard University School of Law. Following law school, Judge Sullivan was a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow from 1971 to 1972. Thereafter, he clerked for Judge James A. Washington, Jr., of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. From 1973 to 1984, Judge Sullivan served as an associate and partner at the firm of Houston & Gardner, and its successor, Houston, Sullivan & Gardner. He was appointed to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in October 1984 and served in every division of that court, including positions as Deputy and Presiding Judge of the Probate and Tax Divisions. In November 1991, he was appointed to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals where he served until his appointment to the federal bench. Judge Sullivan is a member of the U.S. Judicial Conference's Committee on Criminal Law
personally, I don't think there is any 'there' there. The administration is trying to stand tough on principles when it could have just released most of this stuff shortly after it became clear that they were losing more brownie points by holding back than they would have if they'd just let it out with a disclaimer saying that 'though they do not believe they are required to release it, they were doing so in the name of disclosure. Case closed. Story dies in a week, tops.