The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has taken steps to suspend the law license of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Jr., the former White House aide convicted in March of lying and obstructing justice in a probe into the leak of a CIA operative's identity.

The court issued a "rule to show cause" on Friday directing Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, to show why his license should not be temporarily suspended in the wake of his federal convictions. The order was posted on the court's Web site yesterday.

The order was expected and Libby, 57, will be suspended from practicing law while his appeal is pending, Libby's lawyer told the Associated Press yesterday.

President Bush commuted Libby's 30-month jail sentence in July. Libby paid a $250,000 fine and must serve two years of probation. - AP