Lights Out for Cheney's Energy Pals

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Remember the long legal fight to pry open the invitation list for Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force meeting way back when? On Tuesday, the Dick won. The good news is that the D.C. Circuit Court did not agree with the Veep's lawyers that disclosure would have somehow violated Separation of Powers (which would have created a precedent giving the Executive Branch even more ability to conduct the nation's business in secret). The bad news is that the Court ruled that the Federal Advisory Committee Act, a Sunshine-enablying law under which the plaintiffs sought to obtain the information, does not apply as long as the corporate chieftans and lobbyists at any given meeting aren't official members of the gov't committee in question.

NEXT: Think Globally, Eat Locally (McCheese, You Magnficent Bastard, I Ate Your Burger Edition)

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  1. Bummer. It’s kind of annoying that the Supremes didn’t want to touch it. On it’s face, the ruling seems absurd and I think it’s demeaning to the idea of both separation of powers and open government to decide it on such a technicality that is obviously easy to get around.

    The bad news is that the Court ruled that the Federal Advisory Committee Act… does not apply as long as the corporate chieftans and lobbyists at any given meeting aren’t official members of the gov’t committee in question.

    Sounds like the statute could easily be fixed by congress. Which won’t happen until the next time the Presidency and Congress are controlled by opposite parties.

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