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July 14, 2006
Talk About A Bad Draw!

Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame have run into a bit of bad luck in their lawsuit against Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, and ten random Republicans. CQ reader Denis K took a peek at the complaint and noticed something that I had missed earlier -- the judge assigned to the case. Wilson and Plame drew Judge John D. Bates -- and a quick glance at his rulings will no doubt have the Left fuming.

For instance, Judge Bates ruled in January 2005 that Michael Newdow would suffer no harm if the President said a prayer at his inauguration. Newdow, most known for using his (non-custodial) child as a means to attack the Pledge of Allegiance, lost his bid to enact a prior restraint on the President's speech at his own inauguration simply because Newdow planned to attend.

If that doesn't get the Democratic Underground in a fury, they may instead recall their anger when Judge Bates told Congress that they had no standing to sue for access to the records of Dick Cheney's energy task force. Relying on "the restricted role of the Article III courts in our constitutional system of government," Bates denied the request of the GAO, spurred on by Democrats who disliked the energy plan pushed by the White House. The judge ruled that the separation of powers and executive privilege meant that Cheney could consult with advisors to formulate policy without producing records of the meeting to Congress.

It gets even better, or worse, depending on one's point of view. Judge Bates received an appointment earlier this year to the FISA Court, the secret panel that reviews warrant requests for national-security investigations. He replaced Judge James Robertson, who resigned in protest against the Bush administration's bypass of the FISA Court on the NSA terrorist surveillance program. How sympathetic will Judge Bates be to a lawsuit from someone who leaked misinformation after getting sent on an assignment by his wife?

And, hell, if that doesn't do it for Wilson supporters, his work as one of Kenneth Starr's staff during his independent-counsel investigation of Bill Clinton should force them into despair.

How long will it take before the Left starts screaming "CONSPIRACY"? Faster than the Wilsons can file a disqualification motion with the court.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 14, 2006 5:13 PM

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