Appeals Court To Hear Judicial Watch Lawsuit Against Vice President Cheney – but not until 2005!
Organization’s Case For ‘Open Government’ Continues as the conservative group Judicial Watch moves forward in suit. Despite Bush’s attempts to stop it, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit – all judges of the circuit presiding – will consider its lawsuit against Vice President Cheney regarding secret records from his controversial Energy Task Force. Oral arguments in the case are set for January 27, 2005.
Judicial Watch brought its lawsuit in 2001 after being denied access to task force meetings and documents. The suit was filed following a number of reports that lobbyists and energy company officials participated in the task force’s deliberations. The participation of private individuals at task force meetings triggers FACA. The Bush administration contends that any meeting of any task force member or staff with any lobbyist or corporate CEO – such as Enron’s Ken Lay – should be immune from public and congressional scrutiny.
<blockquote>“I look forward to the Court of Appeals considering this important case, which at its heart is about the public’s right to know how its government conducts the people’s business,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “I hope, whether it be in a Bush administration or a Kerry administration, we finally will be able to break the wall of secrecy surrounding the Energy Task Force."</blockquote>