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Reply #78: "they have made their decision, now let them enforce it". [View All]

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Bacchus39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-09-07 10:45 AM
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78. "they have made their decision, now let them enforce it".
see Andrew Jackson. Bush could simply choose to ignore the Supreme Court decision.

the signing statements are the Executive Branch's interpretation of how laws will be enforced. My understanding of the signing statements is that provisions of the passed law violate the authority as President granted under the Constitution then he will not enforce or enact those provisions.

signing statements: http://www.usdoj.gov/olc/signing.htm

In each of the last three Administrations, the Department of Justice has advised the President that the Constitution provides him with the authority to decline to enforce a clearly unconstitutional law.(7) This advice is, we believe, consistent with the views of the Framers.(8) Moreover, four sitting Justices of the Supreme Court have joined in the opinion that the President may resist laws that encroach upon his powers by "disregard them when they are unconstitutional." Freytag v. C.I.R., 111 S. Ct. 2631, 2653 (1991) (Scalia, J., joined by O'Connor, Kennedy and Souter, JJ., concurring in part and concurring in judgment).(9)

If the President may properly decline to enforce a law, at least when it unconstitutionally encroaches on his powers, then it arguably follows that he may properly announce to Congress and to the public that he will not enforce a provision of an enactment he is signing. If so, then a signing statement that challenges what the President determines to be an unconstitutional encroachment on his power, or that announces the President's unwillingness to enforce (or willingness to litigate) such a provision, can be a valid and reasonable exercise of Presidential authority.(10) And indeed, in a recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Federal Election Comm'n v. NRA Political Victory Fund, supra, the court cited to and relied upon a Presidential signing statement that had declared that a Congressionally-enacted limitation on the President's constitutional authority to appoint officers of the United States was without legal force or effect. Id. at * 11.

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