Judge rules against Cheney

A federal district court in Washington, D.C. has ruled against Vice President Dick Cheney and his Energy Task Force in a lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch, a public interest lawfirm in the capitol.

The 83-page opinion was issued by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan and blasted the arguments offered by the Justice Department on behalf of the Bush administration. The administration has been stonewalling on releasing any information on operations of the task force.

The Sierra Club joined Judicial Watch in the legal action against the government.

Judicial Watch said the court is ready to allow discovery into the vice president’s role in the task force, how the group operated and the identitites of the participants. It is believed that Enron was one of the principals in this group. Judicial Watch also seeks discovery from the vice president himself.

The court rejected as “mischief” the administration argument that inquiry into the task force operations would infringe on the president’s constitutional powers. Judge Sullivan wrote that the administration’s “stunning” arguments “fly in the face of precedent” and are a “problematic and unprecedented assertion…of executive power.”

The court expressed concern over the administration’s misstating of constitutional law and guiding precedent.

Larry Klayman, general counsel of Judicial Watch, commented: “Judge Sullivan’s decision is historic. We are pleased that the court turned back the Bush administration’s lawless attempt to prevent the American people from gaining access to information about the operations of its government. Let discovery begin.”

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