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04-27-2004, 09:42 AM
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court takes on a nearly three-year dispute over the balance between confidentiality and public scrutiny for government leaders Tuesday as it hears arguments stemming from Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force

All nine members were hearing arguments, despite a controversy over a hunting trip Cheney took with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, an old friend, weeks after the high court agreed to hear Cheney's appeal.

Scalia, the vice president and two of Scalia's relatives flew together on a government jet to Louisiana for the duck hunt at a camp owned by an oil rig services executive.

"If it is reasonable to think that a Supreme Court justice can be bought so cheap, the nation is in deeper trouble than I had imagined," Scalia wrote in rejecting the Sierra Club's request that he disqualify himself.

In the detailed memo, Scalia cited legal precedent and offered personal observations about the controversy.

He dismissed a call from the environmental group Sierra Club that he recuse himself because a January hunting trip he and Cheney took together gave the "appearance of impropriety."

Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont was one of two Democratic lawmakers to call on Scalia to recuse himself. The other was Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.

"Instead of strengthening public confidence in our court system, Justice Scalia's decision risks undermining it," Leahy said in a statement.

"Such near-sightedness on a matter so basic to public trust in the independent judiciary is as puzzling to the American people as it is harmful to the court. For other courts, the reason to recuse under such circumstances would be self-evident."

Scalia concluded friendship alone did not meet that standard. "My recusal is required if ... my impartiality might reasonably be questioned," he said.

"Why would that result follow from my being in a sizable group of persons, in a hunting camp with the vice president, where I never hunted with him in the same blind or had other opportunity for private conversation?"

Scalia said that he did not remember being alone with Cheney and that they never discussed the case.

Scalia and Cheney also had a private dinner with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Maryland's Eastern Shore in November, when the Supreme Court was considering Cheney's appeal.

If you were defending yourself against a lawsuit and you find out that the other party was just back from a fishing trip with the judge. Would you be worried?


04-27-2004, 10:15 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>... other party was just back from a fishing trip with the judge. Would you be worried? <hr /></blockquote>

dude that happens all the time in this country at all levels of jurisprudence.

I have 2 wishes.

1. Cheney go ahead and release the stuff.

2. Qtec learn how to title his threads more descriptively /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

04-28-2004, 10:40 AM
dude that happens all the time in this country at all levels of jurisprudence <hr /></blockquote>

Is it right or is it wrong?


04-28-2004, 10:43 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> Is it right or is it wrong?

Q <hr /></blockquote>

It just is

I try to avoid the justice system. It's pretty f**ked up /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif