Supreme Court Sends Cheney Energy Task Force Case Back to Lower Court

In a clear political victory for the White House, today the U.S. Supreme Court set aside a ruling that would have forced Vice President Dick Cheney to turn over all the records from his energy task force. In a 7-2 ruling, the Supremes sent the case back to the federal district court from whence it came, ordering judges there to spend more time considering the veep’s privacy claim. The case is still alive, but even if the district court again orders release of the documents, another Cheney appeal could send the case back to the Supreme Court yet again, drawing the fight out for months. Whatever happens, voters won’t find out the inner workings of the task force — or even who was on it — until well after the election. As if to thumb his nose at critics who questioned his impartiality after a chummy duck hunting trip with the veep, Justice Antonin Scalia co-authored (with Justice Clarence Thomas) a separate brief saying that the case should have been tossed out entirely, as the district court judge had “clearly exceeded” his authority.