Thursday, June 24, 2004

Supreme Court Injustices

Dick Cheney can withhold papers from his 2001 Energy Task Force until after the election, the Supreme Court has ruled in a 7-2 decision.

"The president is not above the law, [Justice] Kennedy wrote, but there is a 'paramount necessity of protecting the executive branch from vexatious litigation that might distract it from the energetic performance of its constitutional duties.'"

Now remind me, didn't the same court rule that Bill Clinton was not too busy to face a civil suit during his term, on top of an investigation into his financial dealings before he became president...and now it's too "vexatious" for Cheney to cough up public information on how he spent the taxpayers' money?

If public information is the lifeblood of democracy, we've got hemophilia here, guys. Register. Vote. Save your country.

Next in the Fahrenheit 9/11 obstacle course: Federal Election Commission may prohibit any ads for the film mentioning Bush after July 30, while a Republican group claims the movie itself is "a two-hour political advertisement" and violates campaign law. I predict the more they try to hinder people from seeing this award-winning film, the greater the demand will be. Me, I already have a ticket for the opening here tomorrow night.

In better news, the Associated Press has sued under the Freedom of Information Act for a copy of Bush's personnel file stored on microfilm at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. THey have already been determined to be federal records, and the government has not complied with the request in the time allowed by law. It's good to see journalists using the tools available to enforce compliance with the FOIA law. Public information is the lifeblood of democracy.

The Project on Government Oversight has sued John Ashcroft over his reclassifying documents already in the public domain. The documents relate to a whistleblower's alegations of security lapses in the FBI's translator program.

And, the Senate voted to overturn recent Federal Communications Commission rules that would have made made it easier for media conglomerates to conglomerate even further.


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