Court Rules that White House Must Reveal Visits by Religious Right Leaders
January 17, 2009
Last week the Bush administration lost a courtroom battle to maintain a shroud of secrecy over nine prominent Religious Right leaders’ alleged visits to the White House and to Dick Cheney’s home. The government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) had sued for access to visitor logs after Cheney ordered the Secret Service to deny CREW’s information request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). On Friday, January 9 Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the Washington, D.C. federal district court held that although the presidential communications privilege extends to the content of communications between visitors and the President and Vice President, the privilege cannot be used to hide the identities of the visitors and the date and time of their visits. Chief Judge Lamberth also found that the Department of Homeland Security violated the Federal Records Act by illegally deleting visitor records.
The nine Religious Right leaders allegedly identified in the Secret Service visitor logs are James Dobson (Focus on the Family), Gary L. Bauer (American Values, former president of the Family Research Council), Wendy Wright (Concerned Women for America), Louis P. Sheldon and Andrea Sheldon Lafferty (the Traditional Values Coalition), Paul Weyrich (co-founder of the Heritage Foundation and the Free Congress Foundation), Tony Perkins (Family Research Council), Donald Wildmon (American Family Association), and Jerry Falwell (co-founder of the Moral Majority and tireless foe of gay Teletubbies ; now deceased). According to The Public Record , these Religious Right leaders advised the Bush administration on a range of policy issues, including stem cell research, abortion, and—best of all—science.
Although we may never know what was discussed at these meetings, CREW’s victory might shed some light on the extent of Religious Right ideologues’ influence on the outgoing administration’s policies.
#1 vjack (Guest) on Sunday January 18, 2009 at 5:58am
That is good news, and I hope it applies to the incoming administration as well. If Obama continues to consort with Christian bigots such as Rick Warren, we need to know about it.
#2 Jeff P (Guest) on Sunday January 18, 2009 at 8:58am
Look where all their visits to the White House landed our nation.