Antonin Scalia has announced he will not recuse himself from the Supreme Court case in which it is to be determined whether or not Dick Cheney must make public the notes of his secret energy task force that formulated Bush energy policy in the spring and summer of 2001. Cheney’s task force met on scores of occasions exclusively with executives from the fussil fuels and nuclear industries, including Ken Lay several times, but with nary an advocate of consumers, the environment, nor solar and alternative energies.
Only weeks after the Supreme Court agreed to take the case, which had been making its way through the appellate courts, Cheney and Scalia chummed around on a private duck-hunting trip in Louisiana.
Cheney’s rationale for keeping his notes secret he says, is that he doesn’t want to jeopardize future officers of the executive branch in their ability to hold similar clandestine proceedings, which would interfere with their ability to formulate policy. Cheney has been silent about bribery or collusion, nor did he give even a semblance of an argument as to why, in a democracy, secret energy policy deliberations are necessry. Who can blame him? With our media reasons and arguments are unnecessary. Cheney, like Scalia, practically part of the Bush administration, are of the Adolph Hitler school of lying: if you tell a lie make it a big one; the bigger the lie the more likely it is to be believed.
Don’t you love surprises? When Bush energy policy was announced, it was an extended commitment to polluting fossil fuels, including tens of billions of dollars in subsidies and tax credits to the already stinking petroleum industry, resurrection of moribund nuclear power, with a token hand full of dollars for solar and alternate energy sources There was nary a word about conservation–which would, after all, interrupt the massive profits of Bush and Cheney’s friends–nor a peep about the environment.
Being a perjured judge goes hand-in-hand with being a lousy writer and Scalia does not disappoint. His written decision in this case sounds like the ramblings of a skid row drunk. To call him a liar is to pay the scoundrel a compliment. In short, he’s an unhinged lunatic. How his kind has come to positions of power and respect in what is supposed to be the greatest country in the world and the standard bearer for democracy, is an issue so far out of the pale, only history knows; and she ain’t speaking just yet. Scalia is a piece of a puzzle of an administration completely out of control, a gang of thugs and neo-conservative extremists, hand on the button, that makes the time of the robber barons of the late 19th Century and the Tea Pot Dome era seem like the golden age of philanthropy.
I cannot even decipher Scalia’s lie in order to unravel it. Here is part of what he said in his written decision:
Recusal would in my judgment harm the court. If I were to withdraw from this case, it would be because some of the press has argued that the vice president would suffer political damage if he should lose this appeal. … But since political damage often comes from the government’s losing official-action suits; and since political damage can readily be characterized as a stain on reputation and integrity; recusing in the face of such charges would give elements of the press a veto over participation of any justices who had social contacts with, or were even known to be friends of, a named official.
According to Scalia, his recusal may, of all things, damage the vice-president. Another surprise. Some people might call that justice. How about this, Scalia? The reason not enough people know you ought recuse has nothing to do with whether the vice-president suffers or not, although in this case he obviously ought to, but whether you are capable of rendering an unbiased opinion based upon the law and the facts. And really the law is not at issue here. A democracy is, by definition, of the people, by the people, and for the people; and not of the secret energy task force, by the secret energy task force, and for the secret energy task force. The people have a right, not to speak of an obligation, to know what went on in those secret tete-a-tetes.
Worse, Scalia goes on to reproach the mainstream press poodle as if it is a badger in reporting on corruption of unimaginable proportions, rather than extolling it as state-cheerleader and Ministry of Propaganda, which would have been more accurate, leave alone honest. Scalia says critical reporting threatens the appearance of judicial integrity on the high court, Hitler again, insisting his duck-hunting trip doesn’t. When Scalia goes on to aver that there is no basis for recusing himself from the case as he would have liked to have done to demonstrate his integrity, even Goebbels would have been proud.
Scalia went duck hunting and palled around with Dick Cheney. Now he is back at his job on the high court, as is Dick Cheney back at his–or at a secret, undisclosed location. Soon Cheney’s case will come before Scalia and the Supreme Court. I haven’t the first idea why anyone would think there would be any bias in his decision.
TRACY McLELLAN can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org