One of the scarier things about the Cheney philosophy to governing was that he knew the judiciary was so slow. In a presidential term of four years, scandals at the very beginning just might work their way through by the end of the first term. Sometimes faster as in Watergate, but usually slower.
The executive also has the huge luxury of using tax dollars and the federal bureaucracy to lean on their political opponents. If they decide to do X, all it takes is an executive order and it's done. To overturn the decision, barring an act of congress, opponents have to undertake the lengthy and expensive litigation. And Cheney chose to litigate EVERYthing, using the entire weight of the federal bureaucracy, stonewalling at every turn, whereas the opponents would be forced to pick and choose court battles.