U.S. District Judge John D. Bates dismissed the case on jurisdictional grounds and said he would not express an opinion on the constitutional arguments. Bates dismissed the case against all defendants: Cheney, White House political adviser Karl Rove, former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
Plame's attorneys had said the lawsuit would be an uphill battle. Public officials are normally immune from such lawsuits filed in connection with their jobs.
"This just dragged on the character assassination that had gone on for years," said Alex Bourelly, one of Libby's lawyers. "To have the case dismissed is a big relief."
Plame's attorneys said they were reading the opinion and had no immediate comment.
While Bates did not address the constitutional questions, he seemed to side with administration officials who said they were acting within their job duties. Plame had argued that what they did was illegal and outside the scope of their government jobs.
"The alleged means by which defendants chose to rebut Mr. Wilson's comments and attack his credibility may have been highly unsavory, " Bates wrote. "But there can be no serious dispute that the act of rebutting public criticism, such as that levied by Mr. Wilson against the Bush administration's handling of prewar foreign intelligence, by speaking with members of the press is within the scope of defendants' duties as high-level Executive Branch officials."
Talk Show America 7/20/2007