Who Is John D. Bates?

Yesterday, federal district Judge John D. Bates “dismissed a lawsuit filed by former CIA officer Valerie Plame and her husband [Joe Wilson] against Vice President Cheney and other top officials over the Bush administration’s” retaliatory leak of Plame’s identity. Bates’s decision yesterday is in line with a long record of injecting his personal political agenda into the administration of law. Some other recent examples include:

– In August 2006, Bates “ruled that it was acceptable for the president to sign a bill that had not been passed by Congress.” A clerical error resulted in the President receiving a version of a law approved by only one half of Congress. Bates upheld the law, despite the President being warned of the error before signing the bill. [LINK]

– In December 2002, Bates protected the Bush administration by narrowly dismissing a lawsuit filled by the U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker against Cheney. Walker “wanted Mr. Cheney to reveal the names of industry executives who helped the administration develop” its energy policy. Bates argued turning the records over to Walker “would hobble an administration’s essential, legitimate ability to receive frank information and advice.” [LINK]

– From September 1995 to March 1997, Bates served as Deputy Independent Counsel to Whitewater investigator Ken Starr. During that time, Bates wanted open access to what Sen. Pat Leahy called, the “dresser drawers of the White House.” At the time, Bates “successfully argued that the White House had to turn over documents related to then-first lady Hillary Clinton.” [LINK]


Furthermore, shortly after he was appointed to the FISA court, the Bush administration sought and received approval to continue its domestic spying program.

Ryan Powers