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Old 05-10-2006, 10:01 AM   #1
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Bush and "Signing Statements"

Bush has never vetoed anything, why should he? He has control of Congress, both houses. What more could he ask for?

How about, when he signs a bill, he attaches a "Signing Statement" that says, basically, he doesn't have to follow the law if he doesn't want to. Can he do that? He has, 750 times.

The White House will say that the President will faithfully uphold the laws of the nation in accordance with the Constitution. But, what they won't say, is that if the President unilaterally decides that a law is Unconsitutional, he has stated his intent NOT to follow it.

Congress is hopping mad that the President has taken this agressive tactic to erode their power.
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Old 05-10-2006, 05:47 PM   #2
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And I'm hopping mad that the Prez has taken this aggressive tactic to erode the power of the constitution and erode the US's existance as a democracy.
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Old 05-10-2006, 06:00 PM   #3
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Signing statments have not been tested by the courts. (I am not a lawyer) In terms of contracts, if you write something out and attach it to a contract, it does not become part of the contract unless the other party initials it or signs it.

In terms of Bills, a signing statement is nothing more that the President clarifying what he thinks he has agreed to. If his signing statement significantly differs from the bill he has signed, it probably has no more value than a presidential directive, which cannot override a law. This is because the Constitution specifically involves Congress and the President in passing laws.

I know that Alito pushed for signing statements, but I expect that the Supreme Court will uphold the two branch process and not give the signing statements any real weight if it ever reaches them.
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Old 05-10-2006, 06:42 PM   #4
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One problem with that is that the President is in charge of the branch that enforces laws. If his signing statement is of the form "I won't enforce this bit here", the executive branch probably won't enforce it. And a good law not being enforced is much less likely to make it to the Supreme Court than a bad law being enforced.
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Old 05-10-2006, 09:11 PM   #5
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It shouldn't be a surprise from a man that's lived his whole life above the law.
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Old 05-11-2006, 08:53 PM   #6
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If they are not struck down America has suffered another "revolution within the form." UG's big democratic hero is a common dictator.
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Old 05-12-2006, 10:03 PM   #7
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Dictator sounds so 20th century, Griff. How about Assistant God?
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Old 05-13-2006, 12:26 PM   #8
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Most of his statements claimed that he felt part of the laws were an unconstitutional limit to his power. Thing is, it's not up to the President to decide what's constitutional; that's the job of the Supreme Court.

One of the examples was that he felt that legislative bans on torture violated his constitutional powers as commander-in-chief to direct the armed forces. Thing is, the Constitution also gives Congress the power to "make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water".

Bush also claims in one that he can divert money to "secret operations", again as his constitutional power as the President. Thing is, article 1, section 9 of the constitution says that "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law"

There were also examples of cases where the Supreme Court had upheld a law as constitutional, and Bush continued to write that he would ignore it based on unconstitutionality (in this case, it was a law allowing certain officials in teh executive branch to act independently of the President). Again, it is not the President's power to decide what is and is not constitutional.

(Source I'm using)
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