Tuesday, May 02, 2006

By What Constitutional Authority?

There's finally been a little coverage of President Bush's habit of issuing "signing statements" as he signs a bill into law. Typically, these are caveats--- He makes a statement reserving his right to ignore the law if it's inconsistent with his view of the Constitution.

Perhaps I should ask this question of someone at the White House Counsel's Office, but... Where does this Constitutional authority come from?

The Constitution does indeed make provisions for a president to reject a law that he feels is unconstitutional--- It's called a veto.

Say it with me, Bush Leaguers... "Vee-toe".

It even allows a couple of different means of doing that. He can simply stamp the bill "Veto" and send it back, or he can do the "pocket veto", in which he simply hangs onto the bill until the end of the Congressional session, which would simply kick the bill back out to be dealt with again in the next session.

Why does he not have the political courage to do these things? Is it perhaps that he realizes that 32 is the freezing point for water AND political influence?

Not even that explains it. He's been doing this for years.

So what section of the Constitution allows him to do this?

UPDATE:

Ain't it funny what you find when you do a little research?

The signing statement was first used by Ronald Reagan. here are the stats for the number of times they've been used, straight from the Wall Street Journal:

LOOKING BACK

…And compared with previous presidents.
Reagan 1
G.H.W. Bush 6
Clinton 0
G.W. Bush 110*
*to date

I just had a right winger try to use the "Cinton did it too" talking point on me.

Jeez, when will these guys learn?

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