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Before the war in Iraq took center stage, one hallmark of the Bush administration was its push to extend the boundaries of executive privilege. The administration has battled to protect documents from a 2001 energy task force led by Vice President Dick Cheney, but on Thursday Justice Department attorney Gregory Katsas got a cold reception from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit when he argued that the administration shouldn’t have to comply with a discovery order for the documents. “You have no case,” said Judge Harry Edwards. Judge David Tatel also seemed skeptical of the government’s position. The case was filed by a Washington odd couple: the Sierra Club and Larry Klayman’s Judicial Watch. The administration has disclosed 39,000 pages of energy documents, but none from the task force. … Business executives have been complaining about the Mississippi courts for years. Now federal agents have subpoenaed documents from the state’s supreme court and court of appeals, as part of a probe into whether trial lawyers paid bank loans for judges in exchange for favorable rulings, reports Thursday’s Sun-Herald newspaper on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. No one has been charged. … Reed Smith attorney Denise Howell sat down for lunch with Chief Judge Mary Schroeder of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, and reports in her personal blog on Schroeder’s view of the state of the circuit. The Phoenix-based Schroeder expressed hope that the Senate would quickly approve circuit nominees and argued against the ceaseless proposals to split up the sprawling circuit. The judge lamented the effect immigration appeals are having on the docket, but also said judges are finding ways to ease stress. A Judicial Wellness Committee offers counseling on health and fitness. Said Schroeder, “An unbelievable number of our judges are signing up for yoga.” – From the editors of American Lawyer Media Related links: Judge Scolds Cheney Lawyers in Energy Case Appeal Mississippi High Court’s Records Subpoenaed Notes From Bar Association Lunch With Chief Judge Mary Schroeder

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