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E-M:/ Sierra Club Response to Scalia's Decision to Deny Recusal Motion



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Enviro-Mich message from "Anne M. Woiwode" <anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org>
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E-Mers:  Many in Michigan and nationwide have followed the debate in the
US Supreme Court regarding the attempt by Sierra Club and Judicial Watch
to get access to documents relating to V. President Cheney's secret
meetings with the energy industry in developing the Bush
Administration's energy policy.  The  press release below relates to the
more recent controversy related to this case where Justice Scalia took a
private hunting trip with Mr. Cheney, flying on Air Force 2, after the
Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.  Sierra Club has reluctantly
moved to have Judge Scalia recused from the case.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Anne Woiwode, Director
Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter
109 East Grand River Avenue,  Lansing, MI  48906
ph: 517-484-2372 fx: 517-484-3108 e: anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org
website:  http://michigan.sierraclub.org 
 
Subject: Sierra Club Response to Scalia's Decision to Deny Recusal
Motion

For Immediate Release
March 18, 2004

Contact:
David Willett, 202-675-6698

   Response to Justice Scalia's Denial of Recusal Motion in Cheney Case
                         Statement of Sierra Club

Washington, DC: Justice Scalia misses the point.  There's a problem when
a
Justice and a litigant meet secretly at a private hunting retreat --
regardless of what happens behind closed doors.  It is the appearance of
secrecy and impropriety that creates the problem, and it clearly has
caused
a public outcry here.  If Justice Scalia and Mr. Cheney had only been so
forthcoming with the facts at the outset, the public might have
responded
differently and this might have taken a different course.  Even in light
of
this newly disclosed information, the Sierra Club still believes that
recusal would be appropriate under the applicable legal standard.

We wish that Vice President Cheney would be as forthcoming with the
details
of the secret Energy Task Force as Justice Scalia has now been with
their
vacation together.

Last month the Sierra Club formally requested the recusal of Supreme
Court
Justice Antonin Scalia from its case against Vice President Cheney and
the
secret Energy Task Force citing the intense public attention drawn to
the
January duck hunting trip taken by Cheney and Scalia. The Sierra Club
reluctantly concluded that recusal is necessary to "redress an
appearance
of impropriety and to restore public confidence in the integrity of our
nation's highest court."   At the time Sierra Club made its motion,
Justice
Scalia had declined to reveal any of the facts revealed in today's
opinion,
and the public was in an uproar over the appearance of impropriety.

Sierra Club is suing Vice President Cheney and the Energy Task Force
under
the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), seeking an accounting of
energy
industry participation in crafting the Bush Administration's destructive
energy policy, which relies on subsidies to polluting and outdated
fossil
fuel industries. The District Court ordered the Administration to
provide
information about participation from these industries, which the Bush
Administration refused to do, claiming Constitutional immunity from such
inquiries. The District Court rejected that contention, pointing out
that
the Administration was attempting to "cloak what is tantamount to an
aggrandizement of Executive power with the legitimacy of precedent where
none exists." The Administration appealed, asking the D.C. Circuit to
make
new law that would effectively shield it from any legal scrutiny. The
Circuit Court denied their request.  The Bush Administration appealed to
the Supreme Court, which will hear arguments on April 27.

Copies of Sierra Club's brief is available at
http://www.sierraclub.org/environmentallaw/


David Willett
Deputy Press Secretary
Sierra Club
(202) 675-6698
david.willett@sierraclub.org
www.sierraclub.org








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