Suing Cheney?

Clarice Feldman
Beldar responds to those who claim Cheney can be sued for failing to maintain the records of classified documents which pass through his office under the regulations set by the Director of Information Security Oversight Office:
If your question is, "Could anyone go to court to compel Cheney's cooperation with the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office in this dispute?" then the answer is a very definite "No." What's at issue is an executive order - literally an order from the Chief Executive to his subordinates in the executive branch - and its only compulsive force comes from the President's ability, at his sole discretion, to punish or ultimately to fire those in the chain of executive command below him who disobey him. The POTUS is presumptively not only the author, but the only relevant ultimate interpreter of executive orders. Whatever the then-President says an executive order means - regardless of what it may or may not actually say, or what it was originally intended to mean - is what the executive order does effectively mean (using the word "effectively" quite literally). So does Mr. Cheney have a leg to stand on in that legal sense? Absolutely, as long as Dubya says so. (And he does.)

If you instead meant (as I suspect), "Is there prior court precedent, or are there statutes or regulations, or principles of legal reasoning and interpretation, that directly answer or even address this question?" then the answer is: "Not exactly, but: Such statutes and regulations and precedents and legal principles as there are actually tend to support Cheney's position."

I advise you against taking your legal advice from WaPo writers, Mr. Ponnuru. (Or from CBS News, which published an equally vapid and one-sided analysis that also pretty much, ummm, skipped the actual law stuff.)

You surely knew from the title of this post and its subject matter that this was going to get tedious, didn't you? Hang tough, and I'll try to take it one step at a time. (more)
Hat tip: Rick Ballard

Beldar responds to those who claim Cheney can be sued for failing to maintain the records of classified documents which pass through his office under the regulations set by the Director of Information Security Oversight Office:
If your question is, "Could anyone go to court to compel Cheney's cooperation with the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office in this dispute?" then the answer is a very definite "No." What's at issue is an executive order - literally an order from the Chief Executive to his subordinates in the executive branch - and its only compulsive force comes from the President's ability, at his sole discretion, to punish or ultimately to fire those in the chain of executive command below him who disobey him. The POTUS is presumptively not only the author, but the only relevant ultimate interpreter of executive orders. Whatever the then-President says an executive order means - regardless of what it may or may not actually say, or what it was originally intended to mean - is what the executive order does effectively mean (using the word "effectively" quite literally). So does Mr. Cheney have a leg to stand on in that legal sense? Absolutely, as long as Dubya says so. (And he does.)

If you instead meant (as I suspect), "Is there prior court precedent, or are there statutes or regulations, or principles of legal reasoning and interpretation, that directly answer or even address this question?" then the answer is: "Not exactly, but: Such statutes and regulations and precedents and legal principles as there are actually tend to support Cheney's position."

I advise you against taking your legal advice from WaPo writers, Mr. Ponnuru. (Or from CBS News, which published an equally vapid and one-sided analysis that also pretty much, ummm, skipped the actual law stuff.)

You surely knew from the title of this post and its subject matter that this was going to get tedious, didn't you? Hang tough, and I'll try to take it one step at a time. (more)
Hat tip: Rick Ballard