Supreme Court blocks attempt to unseal records of Cheney's secret meetings with energy companies
24 June 2004
WASHINGTON, June 24 (HalliburtonWatch.org) - In a legal victory for Vice President Cheney, the Supreme Court blocked a lower court's ruling that ordered the White House to release records regarding secret meetings between Cheney and energy industry representatives. The ruling comes five months after Cheney went duck hunting with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who refused to recuse himself in the case. Scalia voted in favor of Cheney's defense in the 7 to 2 decision that effectively delays a final outcome of the case until after the November elections. The Sierra Club and Judicial Watch had filed the lawsuit, arguing that in 2001 Cheney violated the "open-government" law, known as the Federal Advisory Committee Act, by meeting behind closed doors with energy industry executives, analysts and lobbyists. The secret meetings were part of Cheney's "energy task force" which formulated President Bush's energy policies. Critics speculate that Cheney has something to hide, especially the involvement of private energy companies in formulating public policy. Critics also contend that Cheney is hiding the purported involvement of ex-Enron chief executive Ken Lay, who ran Enron while it was ripping off energy consumers in one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated in the United States. The decision, written by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, was joined by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, Scalia and Justices John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, Clarence Thomas and Stephen G. Breyer. Voting against Cheney were Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David H. Souter.