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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Court rules Cheney must be trusted to turn over records

Open government advocates suffered one last blow before Dick Cheney left office as vice president. A U.S. district judge determined that Cheney had not violated the Presidential Records Act, which assumes that politicians will abide by preservation guidelines in good faith. The ruling practically prevents "courts or the U.S. archivist to ensure that records are being protected."
A federal judge ruled Monday that (now former) Vice President Dick Cheney has broad discretion in determining what records created during his eight-year tenure must be preserved.

Absent any evidence that Cheney's office is failing to safeguard records, it is up to the vice president to determine how he deals with material, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled.

"Congress drastically limited the scope of outside inquiries related to the vice president's handling of his own records during his term in office," the judge said in a 63-page opinion.

The Presidential Records Act "provides only narrow areas of oversight," the ruling added.

More here.

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