Supreme Court to rule on Cheney's right to withhold sources
Wednesday 28 April 2004
The White House yesterday argued that the US Constitution gave President George Bush and his deputy Dick Cheney authority to make executive decisions without revealing to the public how they were made or who was consulted.
In what could be the most serious clash yet between the Bush administration and the US judicial system, the Supreme Court was yesterday asked to decide whether Mr Cheney should reveal the names of the industry executives he consulted when drawing up controversial energy policy. For almost three years, Mr Cheney has repeatedly refused to do this.
"This is a case about the separation of powers," the administration's senior lawyer, Solicitor General Theodore Olson, told the justices yesterday. The White House is portraying the case as a test of executive power, arguing that the forced disclosure of confidential records intrudes on a president's power to obtain honest information and advice.
Environmentalists and others interested in more transparent government claim that disclosure is the only way to ensure the administration did not provide special favours to energy industry groups that have made thousands of dollars in donations to Republican campaigns.
Controversy has been fuelled further by Justice Antonin Scalia's decision not to excuse himself from the hearing over his friendship with Mr Cheney. Several months ago it was revealed the two went on a duck-hunting trip in Louisiana on a government jet paid for by taxpayers.
In an unusual 21-page memorandum, Mr Scalia rejected a request by the environmental group, the Sierra Club, to step down. "If it is reasonable to think that a Supreme Court justice can be bought so cheap, the nation is in deeper trouble than I had imagined," he wrote.
"A rule that required members of this court to remove themselves from cases in which the official actions of friends were at issue would be utterly disabling. [Many Supreme Court justices get their jobs] precisely because they were friends of the incumbent president or other senior officials."
The Supreme Court is the administration's last hope of keeping the records private. It has already lost two rounds of legal action in lower courts. A ruling is expected by July and if it supports a lower court's previous decision that the papers must be released, the administration would have to do so, just as the presidential election campaign hots up.
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 What supermodels really think about posing in the nude
- 3 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
Greece debt crisis explainer: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Isis schoolgirl Amira Abase who fled London to join terrorists in Syria mocks victims of Tunisia massacre
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£25000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's premier supplie...
£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...