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The Justice and the Veep: a Worrisome Friendship

January 26, 2004

The Times' editorial (Jan. 22) tells us that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia recently went on a hunting trip with Vice President Dick Cheney even though the Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether Cheney must reveal the names of those who participated in closed White House energy meetings. We can only wonder if, during their cocktail hour and after-dinner conversations, Cheney and Scalia shared similar opinions about disclosure versus nondisclosure concerning these meetings. Certainly, there was no community of values to moderate Cheney's contentions.

We also wonder if Cheney went on a duck-hunting trip with Scalia before Scalia cast his vote in the Supreme Court ruling that made George W. Bush president and Cheney vice president. In other words, is Scalia responsible for the mess the country is in because of his intimate relationship with Cheney?

Richard Ney

Pasadena

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The editorial states that Scalia should recuse himself when the court hears Cheney's testimony about his secret meetings of the 2001 energy task force. Of course Scalia must refrain from participating in those hearings, in view of his friendship and close association with Cheney and especially after their recent duck-hunting trip together. It seems odd that there should be any question about recusal in Scalia's mind, and odd that Scalia should be so insensitive to the perception of the impropriety of participating in that case.

Harry M. Bauer

Sherman Oaks

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Re "Cheney Is Adamant on Iraq 'Evidence' ," Jan. 23: Aha! The folks at NASA in charge of telemetry with the Spirit rover must have cut their teeth on Cheney's internal wiring. It is nearly a year after he ominously broadcast to the nation that Iraq "has reconstituted nuclear weapons" (on "Meet the Press" last March, about which he said, in September, "Yeah, I did misspeak"). All other leading figures in the Bush White House have conspicuously backed away from similar fear-mongering assertions about weapons and a double-secret link between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. But there's our Dick, standing in the deserted courthouse, waiting for his jury to come back and bring vindication for all of his doom-crying. Is there such a thing as mad duck disease, and did Cheney bag a bad one while hunting with his Supreme Court pal Scalia?

Blaise Jackson

Escondido

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