Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The coward's veto... (separate from the line item)

Also, from the Washington Post- it seems that while the Republican controlled congress has never had a single piece of legislation vetoed by this President- he has signed many bills into law, only to officially criticize them with an official "signing statement" shortly thereafter. Link to the article.

A signing statement is (as best as I can understand)- a presidential interpretation of the law that is being signed. That is, until now. George W. Bush uses the signing statements to head fake the American people. He quells public criticism by signing a (somewhat) sensible bill into law, and then goes on to officially criticize the bill moments later. Most famously, Bush did this on while outlawing torture for enemy combatants (which goes on every single day, and not just on enemy combatants).

From the article:

Other presidents have used signing statements to clarify their interpretation of laws, but no president has used such statements instead of ever using the veto authority spelled out in the Constitution, said Harvard University law professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr., who is serving on a new American Bar Association task force examining Bush's signing statements. Bush has never used his veto power in his presidency.

"There is a sense that the president has taken the signing statements far beyond the customary purviews," Specter told the administration's representative, Michelle E. Boardman, deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. "There's a real issue here as to whether the president may, in effect, cherry-pick the provisions he likes and exclude the ones he doesn't like."


Blogger V. Hammond said...

Good post. I didn't get into too much detail on signing statements in my earlier post on Alberto Gonzalez's upcoming hearing in front of Arlen Specter's committee, but the signing statements should be a large point of contention.

-B. Hammond

10:15 PM  

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