Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s autobiographical book offers new information about a rare instance of Cheney breaking with his own administration’s official policy on a Second Amendment appeals court ruling, angering a top aide to then-President George W. Bush.
A source provided The Daily Caller with the passage in Cheney’s soon-to-be released book, “In My Time,” where the former vice president reveals that he and Bush never spoke about his bucking of the administration over the issue — an appeals court ruling that the District of Columbia’s handgun ban is unconstitutional.
“The president never said a word to me about it,” Cheney wrote.
Cheney describes in his book that he staunchly disagreed with the administration’s Justice Department’s amicus brief not fully supporting the appeals court ruling on the issue. The administration argued that the ruling was too broad and asked the Supreme Court to send the case back to the lower courts.
“This stance seemed inconsistent with the president’s previous position on the second amendment and it was certainly inconsistent with my view,” Cheney wrote.
Therefore, Cheney, in 2008, in his capacity as president of the Senate and not vice president of the United States, signed an amicus brief with other members of Congress — after an aide for Republican Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison approached Cheney’s office — expressing support for the appeals court decision.
Not everyone in the West Wing was thrilled, Cheney recounts.
Bush’s chief of staff, Josh Bolten made it clear to Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington, that he “was not happy” about it. But Addington, Cheney wrote, responded that he works for the vice president and not the president’s chief of staff.
Cheney also wrote that others “around the West Wing seemed pleased. Barry Jackson, who had replaced Karl Rove as the president’s political adviser, said he was delighted to see that I had taken a firm position in support of the second amendment.”
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, according to Cheney, also later joked that the court was unsure how to rule until “the vice president’s brief showed up.”