Court Rules in Favor of Cheney in Lawsuit

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ A federal judge has ruled that Vice President Dick Cheney has broad discretion in determining what records created during his eight-year tenure must be preserved.

The judge says in the absence of any evidence that Cheney's office is failing to safeguard records, it is up to the vice president to determine how he deals with material.

At issue is whether Cheney impermissibly limited the scope of the Presidential Records Act, a post-Watergate law aimed at protecting White House records.

Cheney has taken the legal position that his office is not part of the executive branch of government. That triggered a lawsuit by several groups concerned that the record of Cheney's time in office might not be adequately safeguarded.

The ruling means that there is little room for the courts or the U.S. archivist to ensure that records are being protected.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)