Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

"Signing Statements"

Terribly interesting segment on NPR right now (on "On Point", repeated at 7pm tonight).

Everyone's been making a big deal about Bush finally giving the first veto of his six years in office; there's often been an implicit tone of, "Look how reasonable he is, and how well he works with Congress". But very little attention has been paid to his practice of using "signing statements". Basically, when he signs a bill into law, he attaches a rider saying how the Administration will interpret the law, which sometimes subverts the intent of that law or even amounts to saying that they will largely ignore it.

Well, the American Bar Association has just released study of these things, and it's pretty appalling. Turns out that Bush has issued something like 800 of them -- more than all other Presidents combined. So much for reasonable. Even the more responsible Republicans in Congress are getting worried by this subtle power-grab, and are mulling legislation to at least force some discipline on the practice, and maybe give Congress the power to sue the Presidency over it. Suddenly there's a new constitutional crisis looming, which has been building quietly for years...
Tags: politics
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