Friday, January 16, 2004

Cheney and Scalia wire up the Energy Task Force Decision while duck hunting together 

David Savage of the LA Times reports:

Vice President Dick Cheney and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spent part of last week duck hunting together at a private camp in south Louisiana, just three weeks after the high court agreed to take up the vice president's appeal involving lawsuits over his handling of the administration's energy task force.

While Scalia and Cheney are avid hunters and long-time friends, several experts in legal ethics questioned the timing of their trip.

"The better part of wisdom should have led Justice Scalia to avoid the vice president while this case was pending before the court," said New York University law professor Stephen Gillers.

Federal law says "any justice or judge shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might be questioned."

For nearly three years, Cheney has been fighting demands that he reveal whether he met with energy industry officials, including then-Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay, when he was formulating the president's energy policy.

A lower court ruled that Cheney must turn over documents detailing who met with his task force. However, on Dec. 15, the high court announced that it would hear his appeal. The justices are due to hear arguments in the case in April.

Aux duck pits, citoyens!

Although, to be fair to Scalia, his mind is probably already made up....

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