From the New York Times:
A federal appeals court handed the Bush administration a resounding victory today when it unanimously ruled that Vice President Dick Cheney does not have to divulge details on how White House energy policies were shaped.
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held, in an 8-0 decision that reinforced the power of the executive branch, that Mr. Cheney does not have to disclose the names of energy industry officials he consulted in helping to formulate policy early in President Bush’s first term.
The Sierra Club and Judicial Watch have contended that the energy industry people were so deeply involved in formulating the administration’s policy that they became de facto members of Mr. Cheney’s National Energy Policy Development Group – and therefore their identities were subject to disclosure under the open-government Federal Advisory Committee Act.
But in a clear victory for the Bush administration, the appeals court disagreed. “Neither Judicial Watch nor the Sierra Club explicitly claimed that any nonfederal individual had a vote on the N.E.P.D.G. or had a veto over its decisions,” the court held in a decision written by Judge A. Raymond Randolph.
There’s never an activist judge around when you need one.