of justice a concern
should recuse himself from energy case
case you havent heard, Supreme Court Justice Antonin
Scalia is doing his best to avoid pressure to recuse himself
from hearing a case concerning Vice President Dick Cheney.
The case in question surrounds the Bush administrations
energy policy. Watchdog and Environmental groups, such
as the Sierra Club, are convinced that top industry executives
had a hand in shaping the policy and have filed a lawsuit
to learn more about the closed door sessions.
Cheney has combated the lawsuit, arguing that executive
privilege allows him to avoid disclosing such information.
Executive privilege goes back to President Nixons
day, and his attempt to avoid giving up court subpoenaed
audio tapes concerning his discussions about the Watergate
scandal. Obviously, the country and the court did not
follow suit, and the idea of executive privilege, which
is mentioned nowhere in the Constitution, did not save
Now, however, Vice President Cheney might be able to pull
it off. Only three weeks after the lawsuit was filed Cheney
and Justice Scalia went duck hunting in Louisiana as guests
of Wallace Carline, the owner of Diamond Services, an
oil service company.
While the details of their conversation are really nobodys
business, the heart of the issue is Scalias impartiality.
Supreme Court justices are expected to police themselves
if one of them is biased or reasonably questioned.
Scalias refusal to do so is an affront to our judicial
If big oil companies are dictating our countrys
energy policies the public has a right to know. Scalia
should understand that and admit that his chummy relationship
with the vice president compromises his disposition.