Dick Cheney- Corporate Criminal

Ashcroft Steps in to Protect Cheney

Energy Panel Suit Challenged

Saturday, August 9, 2003; Page A05
Washington Post

The Justice Department urged a federal appeals court yesterday to reconsider the continuation of a lawsuit seeking information about energy industry influence on a White House energy task force led by Vice President Cheney.

The case "presents separation-of-powers questions of exceptional importance" because it would allow groups that filed the lawsuit to discover how President Bush "received advice on important national policy matters from his closest advisers," the Justice Department said in court papers.

A review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is essential, the government said, to resolve conflicts with court rulings in previous cases and to ensure that any president can get "unregulated and uninhibited advice" from advisers, including the vice president.

The Sierra Club and Judicial Watch, a conservative government watchdog group, say in the lawsuit that energy industry executives effectively became active participants in the drafting of the 2001 energy plan. The administration says the drafting group, led by Cheney, consisted only of government officials.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court ruled last month that the Bush administration had not proved the lawsuit was an unconstitutional intrusion into the operations of the presidency. The lawsuit has been proceeding in a lower court.

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