Bush Administration Loses Ruling on Cheney Records

The Administration has lost another ruling in its opposition to open government rules. The Bush Administration and particularly Vice President Dick Cheney has spent a huge amount of time and money fighting efforts to preserve documents and emails. On Saturday, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that Cheney must preserve a broad range of records from his time in office under the Presidential Records Act.

Cheney has long argued that he is not a member of the executive branch, suggesting that he holds an almost mystical position somewhere between the legislative and executive branches. Judge Kollar-Kotelly found that the records are not excluded from preservation under the Presidential Records Act as argued by Cheney.

For the full story, click here.

29 thoughts on “Bush Administration Loses Ruling on Cheney Records

  1. rcampbell
    1, September 22, 2008 at 9:57 am

    Cro, Cheney’s absurd assertion was that since the VP has the right to preside over the Senate, he or she is ALSO part of the Legislative branch

    I understand thats what he’s saying rc. What I don’t understand is how he’s getting away with it. That the Vice President has a duty to perform in the Senate has never been in question. But the Vice Presidency is endowed in Aritcle II, not Article I. So how does he get away with this nonsense? His office is endowed in the Executive articles, not the Legislative so its just not a question.

    He is elected with the President, not the congress. His term is paired with the Presidents, not the Congress. To imply he is part of the Legislative branch instead of the Executive is absurd, and is an insult to intelligence.

  2. As I stated yesterday, If ‘the Cheney’ mythical branch wants to claim any piece of executive privilege, he better decide which side of this fence he’s on.

    “Under the principle of separation of powers, the Constitution specifically disallows legislative officials from also serving in the executive branch.”

    ******

    http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2007/jun/26/picking-which-laws-to-follow/

    “…Mr. Cheney might not want to push this line of reasoning too far. The Constitution gives the Senate and House — the legislative branch to which the vice president says he belongs — complete latitude in determining their rules and punishing offenders….”

  3. CMM,
    You are right with your discussion of the weakness of Cheney’s argument. It just shows us how politicized the Judiciary is getting. Jill is right that some judges are beginning to fight back, but too little and way too late.

  4. Thanks Raff. Heres the thing. He really does have power in the senate, to preside and break ties, but his office is empowered in the Executive Articles. He’s “assigned” duties in the senate because as the early framers suggested, “otherwise he’d be unemployed”.

    In the 20th Century Vice Presidents really became sort of junior executives to the President, and performing various functions under the Presidents direction, although technically the President has no authority to order the Vice President to do anything, nor remove him from office. But heres the thing. Regardless of what role Cheney thinks the VP office plays or what branch it is in, when he’s performing Executive functions then he’s subject to the the same guidelines and scrutiny that the Executive is under. So its really a Red Herring argument. A sideline thats a dead end even if proven right, which I cannot see.

    The office is endowed in Article II. You can see he does get functions in Article I which does show responsibility there, something some of the framers had a real problem with in regards to the seperation of powers, but it is there. But that doesn’t mean he’s not part of the Executive branch, and irregardless, when acting in Executive capacity subject to the rules of the Executive branch. Cheney wants his cake and everyone elses and he wants to eat it too. All of it. He’s playing a suckers game here, getting people to swat at flies over whether the office of Vice President is part of the Executive Branch. Perhaps if they sent the movers over and told Cheney he was being moved to the capital since he’s part of the Legislative branch, then give him one of those steam pipe rooms in the bottom, maybe he’d change his tune.

    You know, if Cheney really believes his office is not part of the Executive Branch of Govt, as it is listed in the Constitution, then perhaps he should take the web page for the Office Of Vice President, off of the Executive Branches website, and move it to the Legislative Branches website. Because right now his Website is located at the Executive Branches website, Whitehouse.gov.

    Not where according to him, it should properly be located, at http://www.Senate.gov.

  5. Palin is Cheney’s clone!

    Palin won’t say whether veep is an executive post
    By Kevin Bogardus
    Posted: 09/18/08 08:05 PM [ET]

    “…a spokesman for the Republican presidential campaign did not answer the question. Instead, he e-mailed remarks Palin gave at a campaign rally in Golden, Colo., on Monday.

    Palin did not say what branch of government she believes the vice president’s office is part of in those remarks. Instead, Palin said she and Republican presidential nominee John McCain had discussed what responsibilities she would take on as his second-in-command.
    A Cheney spokesperson declined to comment for this story.”

  6. rafflaw, Mojo & Obama-Sama, et. al:

    I completely concur with Obama-Sama’s summation of part of the problem:

    “The simple fact is this: If Cheney and Bush are not punished, the U.S. will not regain any reasonable international credibility within our lifetimes.”

    The problem I suspect Bugliosi has been struggling with is the idea that:

    “To sin in silence while others doth protest makes cowards out of men.” –Ella Wheeler Wilcox

  7. Cheney is hitting the backrooms of R house to give him the no oversight, no questions asked fascist economic power he wants. I’m certain he’s lying his “heart” out just as he did on the war. I hope Congress stands up to him, just this once.

  8. The answer as to which branch The VP belongs appears in the
    ceremonial title President of the Senate ‘EX OFFICIO’ which means by virtue of office or position; ‘by right of office’.

    ‘The Cheney’s’ legislative branch argument is just an argument. Just because he’s made it doesn’t make it persuasive, correct, or the rule.

    What’s so is so-everything else is just the story about it.

    Today the question is what happened to our economy and how to proceed?

    Why should we trust Bush et al? Maybe we don’t know the whole story this time either.

    History informs us. What we do with that information defines us.
    We get to write our own story everyday. It’s a no-brainer!

    p.s. I’d love to hear what Eliot Spitzer has to say…

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