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Reply #9: Bush's Use of Signing Statements Unprecedented and Unconstitutional [View All]

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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 10:57 PM
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9. Bush's Use of Signing Statements Unprecedented and Unconstitutional
Edited on Sun Jul-23-06 11:17 PM by chill_wind
says John Dean.

Very good read:

July 22 06

Jan 13 06

edit to amend with some express quotes from the Jan cite:


Given the incredible number of constitutional challenges Bush is issuing to new laws, without vetoing them, his use of signing statements is going to sooner or later put him in an untenable position. And there is a strong argument that it has already put him in a position contrary to Supreme Court precedent, and the Constitution, vis--vis the veto power.

Bush is using signing statements like line item vetoes. Yet the Supreme Court has held the line item vetoes are unconstitutional. In 1988, in Clinton v. New York, the High Court said a president had to veto an entire law: Even Congress, with its Line Item Veto Act, could not permit him to veto provisions he might not like.


In short, Bush's signing statements, which are now going over the top, are going to cause a Congressional reaction. It is inevitable. If Republican lose control of either the House or Senate - and perhaps even if they don't, if the subject is torture or an egregious violation of civil liberties -- then the Bush/Cheney administration will wish it had not issued all those signing statements.

Indeed, the Administration may be eating its words - with Congress holding the plate out, and forcing the unconstitutional verbiage back down. That, in the end, is the only kind of torture Americans ought to countenance. "

I am not a lawyer, but--
The ABA is telling Congress that they have not just a basis, but a sworn Constitutional duty to start the mechanisms for a court remedy-- for suit. That is what it is sounding like to me.

from the OP link:

"But Charles Ogletree, a Harvard Law School professor who is a member of the aba task force, gave different advice. "So you think we could draft a statute, take the president to court?" Specter asked him. "I think not only can you, I think you must," Ogletree replied."
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