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Monday, March 9, 2009

Signing Statements

I agree with President Obama's recent statement about the potential abuse of signing statements.  George W. Bush used signing statements to state that he would ignore any law that he believed would infringe on the rights of the executive branch.  But, instead of vetoing bills he believed were in some way unconstitutional before the bills became laws, he *signed* the bills, and then released the signing statement.  In this way, he avoided any situation in which he would have to compromise, or discuss the law with Congress.  If any president believes a bill is in some way flawed, the Constitution intends the president to veto the bill, and let Congress work on it until he finds it acceptable.  This is basic civics.  To issue a signing statement after signing a bill he didn't like was a sneaky way for George W. Bush to ignore the law.  

Here is Obama's recent statement: "There is no doubt that the practice of issuing such statements can be abused.  Constitutional signing statements should not be used to suggest that the president will disregard statutory requirements on the basis of policy disagreements."  An Associated Press article also stated that "Obama ordered his administration to work with Congress to let lawmakers know about concerns over legality before [italics added] legislation gets to the White House for the president's signature."  That is how it is meant to be done, folks.

1 comment:

TaylorM said...

More to make me cringe about President W. Bush. Not that I had high hopes for the man. But luckily Obama seems to be doing a pretty good job of cleaning up the mess so far...