Send To Printer Email to Friend

The Truth about the Decision against Judicial Watch and Sierra Club: David Sentelle and Harry Edwards Subvert Justice for Rightwing Interests - AGAIN

By Cheryl Seal and "J"

An alert reader (we'll call him "J") with fortunate connections to the courts wrote to inform us that the decision to delay indefinitely the Sierra Club/Judicial Watch Freedom of Information lawsuits against Cheney was NOT decided, as the media reported, by Judge Emmet Sullivan. It was merely attributed to Sullivan. But the decision was "per curiam." Per curiam, re: the Findlaw dictionary means "decided by the court as a whole rather than by a single justice and usually without extended discussion." The court in this case was the Federal Appeals Court in D.C. And, in this case, it was NOT even the court as a whole but three justices: Harry Edward, David Sentelle, and David Tatel.

The head cheese of this group and of the Appeals court is Harry Edward. He calls himself a Democrat - the way Zell Miller and John Breaux call themselves Democrats (wink wink!). But good ole Harry is a corporate man all the way. It was his aggressive attack on on Judge Jackson that succeeded in overturning the Microsoft anti-trust Case: In spite of OVERWHELMING evidence that Microsoft was indeed a monopoly, Edwards managed to throw out the verdict by focusing everyone's attention on Jackson's personal (outspoken) courtroom style. http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/8172.html

Harry Edwards also fixed it so Clinton was unable to put some liberal judges into the appeals court: From Independent Judiciary: "During the Clinton administration, some Republicans resisted filling the vacancies on the bench. Their opposition to confirming Clinton nominees Allen Snyder and Elena Kagan was bolstered by statements of both Chief Judge Harry Edwards and Republican Judge Laurence Silberman that the Court was actually experiencing a reduced caseload and, with a vacancy of then only two, did not need any judges to fill those empty seats." See Independent Judiciary: http://www.independentjudiciary.com/courts/courtlong.cfm?CourtID=18

David Sentelle, a good ole boy networker from North Carolina, is a disgrace as a judge and as a representative of American law - he shouldn't even still hold a position. Sentelle was plugged into the court by his rightwing pal and fellow anti-judge Wm. Rehnquist. Rather than serving the American public, Sentelle serves his rightwing corporate cronies. He is notorious for padding supposedly unbiased investigations with rightwing pals. Most infamous of all is his removal of moderate Republican Robert Fiske as Whitewater special counsel and his replacement of Fiske with Ken Starr, which, as we all know, totally subverted the U.S. legal process and constitution for MONTHS, costing taxpayers about $40 million. Here are just a FEW commentaries to be found on the odious Sentelle:

"The appointment mechanism for selecting special prosecutors also remains in the hands of the Far Right. Since 1992, U.S. Appeals Court Judge David Sentelle has run the three-judge panel, with two Republicans and one Democrat. Sentelle is a protege of arch-conservative Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., and has selected conservative Republicans for nearly all politically sensitive investigations." http://www.consortiumnews.com/1990s/consor20.html

This from Salon:

"Sentelle got his job when U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist removed Judge George Mackinnon, a moderate Republican who had offended the Reagan-Bush administrations by appointing Lawrence Walsh, another moderate Republican, to investigate the Iran-contra affair.The little-noticed maneuver gave conservatives a virtual lock on the crucial choice of special prosecutors. So, when the Bush administration came under criticism for rifling through Bill Clinton's passport file in fall 1992, Sentelle's panel picked GOP stalwart Joseph diGenova to investigate. Despite clear evidence of Bush administration guilt, diGenova found no wrongdoing.After a lapse in the special prosecutor statute in 1993-94, the law was reenacted and Sentelle was reappointed. He promptly engineered the removal of Whitewater special counsel Robert Fiske, a moderate Republican, and his replacement with conservative Kenneth Starr.

From the Arkansas Times:

"A colleague of Silberman's at the D.C. court, Judge David Sentelle, has much to answer for. Sentelle was chiefly responsible for assigning Kenneth Starr to investigate President Bill Clinton, even though he knew Starr was a savage partisan with a personal grudge against Clinton. Exactly the sort of person who should never be appointed "independent counsel," in other words." http://www.arktimes.com/editorials/042602edit.html

David Tatel has a pretty honorable record as a civil rights advocate. However, He seems to have degenerated, in his decisions, into a codepedent, meek add-on to the court, docilely going along with "the program" --.the way so many Democratic Congressfolk have degenerated into codependent, meek add-ons going along with "the program."

What is totally despicable about this current case is the 1. collusion between the White House and the Federal Court, 2. the collusion between the media and the White House and the Federal Court, and 3. the total deceit - NO ONE told the American people just WHO rendered this decision and thereby once more subverted our legal system and constitution. And, how calculated to deceive - allow the public to believe that Emmet Sullivan had had a change of heart and decided in Cheney's favor, when this was not the case.

Here are the two notes we received from our conscientious reader, along with an excerpt from the court docket (how'd we get it? Well, you know what the military says..."Don't ask, don't tell!").

Hi, Cheryl -

Re: the Cheney case being dismissed by Emmet Sullivan. It's not District Court Judge Sullivan who did it. It was a panel of three judges on the appeals court that did it. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is famous for having been packed with Reagan appointees of dubious qualifications.


Cheryl -

Somehow, I managed to obtain a recent excerpt from the court docket:

You will notice that Harry Edwards and David Sentelle, both avid Republicans [despite Edwards professions to the contrary], often do things "On the Court's Own Motion", not responsible judicial practice; and they do this in favor of Republican office holders and corporate officials, and they don't give the other side a proper amount of time. If you look up their names (for Edwards, type in "Judge Harry Edwards"), you will see considerable criticism of their work.

What this also means is that the DOJ often doesn't have to ask for these favorable things, something that might otherwise be expected, because everybody knows, from past experience, what Edwards and Sentelle are going to do.


US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit
Case Summary Court of Appeals Docket #: 02-5355
Filed: 11/12/02
Nsuit: 2895 Freedom of Information Act Jud Watch Inc v. Natl Engy Plcy Devel, et al
Appeal from: U.S. District Court

Lower court information: District: 0090-1 : 02cv01530
lead: 02cv01530
Trial Judge: Emmet G. Sullivan, US District Judge

11/15/02 PER CURIAM ORDER filed [714094]. It is ordered, on the court's own motion, that appellant's response to the motions to dismiss be due by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 20, 2002, and any reply be due by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, November 22, 2002. The parties are directed to serve and file their pleadings by hand. [Entry Date: 11/15/02] [02-5355, 02-5356] (jlp) [02-5355 02-5356]

11/18/02 OPPOSITION filed [714374-1] (5 copies) by Appellee Jud Watch Inc in 02-5355, Appellee Sierra Club in 02-5356 (certificate of service dated 11/18/02) to a motion stay case [713212-1] [02-5355, 02-5356] (sha) [02-5355 02-5356]

11/20/02REPLY filed [715225-1] (5 copies) by Appellant Richard B. Cheney (certificate of service dated 11/20/02) to a response to the motion stay case [713212-1]. [02-5355, 02-5356] (sha) [02-5355 02-5356]

11/20/02 OPPOSITION filed [715226-1] (5 copies) by Appellant Richard B. Cheney (certificate of service dated 11/20/02) to the motions to dismiss [714062-1] [713687-1]. [02-5355, 02-5356] (sha) [02-5355 02-5356]

11/27/02 NOTICE OF RELEVANT DECISION filed by Appellee Sierra Club in 02-5356 [717329-1]. Certificate of service date 11/27/02. [02-5355, 02-5356] (sha) [02-5355 02-5356]

12/6/02PER CURIAM ORDER filed, considering the motion for stay pending appeal [713212]. It is ORDERED, on the court's own motion, that case Nos. 02-5354, 02-5355, and 02-5356 be consolidated [718152-1], It is FURTHER ORDERED, on the court's own motion, that the Clerk schedule these cases for oral argument in the normal course [718152-2]. The cases will be considered on the basis of the pleadings previously filed by the parties. It is FURTHER ORDERED, on the court's own motion, that the district court's orders under review in these actions be stayed pending further order of the court [718152-3]. The purpose of this administrative stay is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the merits of the case and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits. [SEE THE ORDER FOR MORE DETAILS] Before Judges: Edwards, Sentelle, and Tatel. [Entry Date: 12/6/02]. [02-5354, 02-5355, 02-5356] (jth) [02-5354 02-5355 02-5356]