Too much information?

A legal battle over access to the records of Vice President Dick Cheney's 2001 energy task force is now back before a federal appeals court, seven months after the Supreme Court failed to rule on the issue.

The high court sent the case (Cheney v. United States District Court) back to the appeals court last June, saying a federal district judge who had ruled against the Bush administration demanded the opening of too much task force information. The high court also argued that the White House has to be protected from "vexatious litigation" that could distract it from its duties.

The legal issues in the dispute were accompanied by questions over Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and whether he should remove himself from the case because he had gone on a hunting trip with Cheney while the court was still considering the case. Scalia refused to withdraw and eventually sided with the 7-2 majority opinion.

Appeals court to revisit Cheney task force records (Associated Press, First Amendment Center, 27 January 2005)