Courts Rigged In Favor of Bush/Cheney
a judge appointed by Bush dismissed a lawsuit by the General Accounting
Office, which is seeking access to information about Cheney's energy task
force meetings. A BuzzFlash Reader sent us the following commentary on
Saturday, explaining how Judge Bates should never have heard the case
and illustrating how the GOP efforts to stack the courts are already destroying
democracy and paving the way for even more brazen, secretive, and destructive
BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY
by Mike Clark
about an appeals court in DC that may stop the energy task force lawsuits
Halts Suit Vs. Cheney Task Force
PETE YOST Associated Press Writer
(AP)--The Bush administration succeeded Friday in temporarily stopping
a lawsuit seeking documents about the inner workings of Vice President
Dick Cheney's energy task force and its meetings with industry executives
federal appeals court indefinitely delayed Monday's deadline for the
White House to produce task force documents or provide a detailed list
of the documents it is withholding.
two-page order said the court will schedule a date for arguments on whether
to step into the case and consider the administration's request to put
a halt to producing documents and providing testimony.
the judge considering this action is US District Judge John Bates.
a brief bio of Bates, from his
John D. Bates was appointed United States District Judge for the District
of Columbia in December 2001. ... Judge Bates was on detail as Deputy
Independent Counsel for the Whitewater investigation from 1995 to mid
with that background, on with the story:
District Judge John Bates is considering the administration's motion
to dismiss the GAO lawsuit as well.
courtroom arguments in September, Deputy Solicitor General Paul Clement
said Congress has ways to seek the information other than relying on
the GAO. Congress could subpoena them or seek information through the
appropriations process, said Clement.
Clement worked for Antony Scalia, from a Justice
Dept. press release:
has been a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of King and Spalding
since 1999 where he headed the appellate practice. Before joining King
and Spalding, he served as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee
on the Constitution. Prior to his Senate service, Clement was in private
practice handling appellate matters. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor
of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches a constitutional
served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S.
Supreme Court during the Court's 1993 term. He also served as a law
clerk to Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia Circuit from 1992 to 1993.
Brock has alleged to Buzzflash that Judge Silberman, who recently
ruled for Ashcroft on the wiretapping ban, was a go-between with Ted Olsen
and Ken Starr, the Watergate prosecutor.
Judge Silberman became a mentor to me and was someone who I relied on,
as well as Ricky, for political advice while I was at the American Spectator
pursuing a lot of the anti-Clinton stories. When Ricky Silberman left
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, she founded, or was one
of the co-founders, of the Independent Women's Forum -- it was actually
her idea. And it was actually Ricky Silberman's idea to approach Ken
Starr to file that friend-of-the-court brief in the Paula Jones case.
And Ricky knew the Jones case was simply payback for the Anita Hill
affair. She thought, wouldn't it be delicious that Clinton would now
be accused of sexual improprieties in the same way that Clarence Thomas
had been? Judge Silberman played an absolutely key role at a critical
the way, his court sits right below the Supreme Court. And so there
are a lot of cases that come before the court dealing with the Executive
Branch -- regulatory matters, things of that nature. When various assertions
of executive privilege were being made by the White House during the
impeachment, he sat in on at least one, if not more, of those cases.
he did not recuse himself, even though, as I said, he had been directly
involved. I think it's clear that the kind of activity that Silberman
was engaging in is not permitted. It falls into a category of the kind
of partisan politics that's not permitted. And he was aware of this,
because he would jokingly say to me that, when I would go to him for
advice, he often started out saying something like well, it would be
improper to advise you on this. And it was set sort of tongue-in-cheek,
and then he would go ahead and advise me. So he was aware of what he
from me, he was also very influential with the Wall Street Journal editorial
page in terms of advice. And of course, the Journal editorial page was,
along with the Spectator, probably the second principal anti-Clinton
vehicle during that time.
the judge worked for Ken Starr on Whitewater. The Asst. Solicitor worked
for Starr's judicial benefactor, who -- in conflict of interest -- ruled
on at least one Whitewater-related case.
Phillips, an attorney representing the comptroller general, argued that
dismissing the case, as Cheney's attorney asked, would impede the GAO's
ability to do its work as the investigative agency of Congress.
me, Phillips should demand another venue, as a link between prosecutor
and judge can be inferred and there's reasonable doubt a fair trial can
this all means in practical terms is that the path for judicial relief
from Bush Administration excesses -- real or alleged -- is potentially
BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY