WASHINGTON – Vice President Cheney and the White House are refusing to turn over information in two lawsuits against the Bush administration's energy task force.
The Justice Department filed court papers this week citing constitutional concerns for the decision. It says providing the information would hamper the executive branch's authority to give confidential advice to the president.
Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch and the Sierra Club environmental group are trying to learn the details of industry influence on the national energy plan, which Cheney's task force developed over a year ago.
The results of that plan are before a House-Senate conference committee.
Other federal agencies named as defendants in the suits have released thousands of pages of documents to the two groups.
The Bush administration's latest move will require more rulings from the judge in the case, who said he wanted the process to avoid raising constitutional issues.
He's already ordered evidence-gathering to proceed in the suit. The next hearing is scheduled for September 13th.