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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 06:43 PM
Original message
ABA task force urges Congress: judicial review of Bush signing statements
US News: Bar association task force urges Congress to push for judicial review of Bush signing statements
By Elizabeth Weiss Green
Posted 7/21/06

George W. Bush did not invent the document known as the presidential signing statement; he inherited it. Franklin Roosevelt, Bill Clinton, and even James Monroe, in 1830, authored the statements, which spell out the president's sometimes controversial interpretation of the very law he's signing. But no president has used signing statements quite like Bush.

Although the president has not issued more statements in total than any other president, he has challenged more than 750 laws in more than 100 signing statements. And he has used them to, in effect, challenge parts of laws, and challenge them more aggressively, than any president before him. Bush's liberal use of those statements first attracted attention in December 2005, when he signed a torture banbut then added a statement reserving the right not to enforce the ban, alongside his signature. Since then, Congress has held a hearing to investigate Bush's use of the statements, a bipartisan advocacy group has condemned their use, and Democratic Rep. Barney Frank has introduced a bill that would allow Congress to override content in them that contradicts signed legislation.

Now, U.S. News has learned, an American Bar Association task force is set to suggest even stronger action. In a report to be released Monday, the task force will recommend that Congress pass legislation providing for some sort of judicial review of the signing statements. Some task force members want to simply give Congress the right to sue over the signing statements; other task force members will not characterize what sort of judicial review might ultimately emerge.

To mount a legal case, a person or group must have been granted "standing," or the right to file a lawsuit. Current law does not grant members of Congress such a right, and recent Supreme Court decisions have denied it in all but very exceptional cases. But Congress could consider bypassing that hurdle by writing a law to give its members the right to sue, a resolution in the task force's report declares, a source familiar with the task force report told U.S. News....

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/060721/21sig...
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. whow. best news I have heard in days!!
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. REcommended
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 07:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. judicial review is the WRONG thing to do ->
the signing statements are legal. Acting on them is illegal. The constitution says a president can only implement the law or veto it.
THERE IS NO OTHER CHOICE. the proper remedy for a president who violates the constitution is impeachment and removal.

giving power on this issue to the fascist George W. bush getoutofjailfree supreme court is incredibly dangerous and suicidal.

the proper thing to do to a tyrant is to get rid of him...or her, legally of course.

Msongs
www.msongs.com/political-shirts.htm
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goforit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #3
30. Agreed!!! Suing will just empower the president to make the laws!!!
The Prez signing does show him commiting premeditated acts of
breaking the laws of the Constitution!!!
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BillZBubb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 07:54 PM
Response to Original message
4. TERRIBLE IDEA!!!!
Getting the right wing courts to approve signing statements isn't what we need. Democrats MUST block this.

Congress MUST IMPEACH a president that uses signing statements to avoid enforcing the law. Keep the right wing courts out of this.
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goforit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #4
31. here, here!!
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
5. Most of the courts are Republican majority...
I think every court except the 9th circuit is made up of a majority of Republican appointees. So, asking for judicial review may only give it more legitimacy.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
6. 
By ROBERT PEAR
Published: July 24, 2006

WASHINGTON, July 23 The American Bar Association said Sunday that President Bush was flouting the Constitution and undermining the rule of law by claiming the power to disregard selected provisions of bills that he signed.

In a comprehensive report, a bipartisan 11-member panel of the bar association said Mr. Bush had used such signing statements far more than his predecessors, raising constitutional objections to more than 800 provisions in more than 100 laws on the ground that they infringed on his prerogatives.

These broad assertions of presidential power amount to a line-item veto and improperly deprive Congress of the opportunity to override the veto, the panel said ...

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/24/washington/24prexy.ht...
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goforit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #6
32. His signing is evidence of crimes!!!
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
7. Bush's Tactic of Refusing Laws Is Probed
Bar Association Panel Criticizes President's Many Challenges to Legislation

By Michael Abramowitz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 24, 2006; Page A05

A panel of legal scholars and lawyers assembled by the American Bar Association is sharply criticizing the use of "signing statements" by President Bush that assert his right to ignore or not enforce laws passed by Congress.

In a report to be issued today, the ABA task force said that Bush has lodged more challenges to provisions of laws than all previous presidents combined.

The panel members described the development as a serious threat to the Constitution's system of checks and balances, and they urged Congress to pass legislation permitting court review of such statements.

"The president is indicating that he will not either enforce part or the entirety of congressional bills," said ABA president Michael S. Greco, a Massachusetts attorney. "We will be close to a constitutional crisis if this issue, the president's use of signing statements, is left unchecked." ...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
8. It's about damn time! this is good news! Now, let's hope it has stamina
to come to complete fruition so we can handcuff the little chimp.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
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
http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20060714.html

Jan 13 06
http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20060113.html

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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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. "The People of The United States v Arlen Specter."
Here's a question. If Sen Specter totally fails to act on the legal urgings or advice of this large legal body to initiate these or any other actions on this issue, do the People have any legal remedy against the Senator?

Just wondering about this.
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flamingyouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 04:38 AM
Response to Original message
11. Bush is flouting Constitution, bar says
WASHINGTON -- The American Bar Association said Sunday that President Bush was flouting the Constitution and undermining the rule of law by claiming the power to disregard selected provisions of bills that he signed.

In a report, a bipartisan 11-member panel of the bar association said Bush had used so-called "signing statements" far more than his predecessors, raising constitutional objections to more than 800 provisions in more than 100 laws on the ground that they infringed on his prerogatives.

In the report, members said those broad assertions of presidential power amount to a "line-item veto" and improperly deprive Congress of the opportunity to override the veto.

For example, in signing a statutory ban on torture and other national security laws approved by Congress, Bush reserved the right to disregard them.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/278588_bar24.htm...
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Tellurian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 04:38 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Talk is cheap...Put up or SHUT UP!
You masters of the Law; Stop whining and do something.
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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 04:38 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. They've done something important
The next step is up to Congress.

Which, unfortunately, won't take that step as long as the GOP dominates both houses.
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don954 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 04:38 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. they need to file a 'friend of the courts lawsuit'
until then, their talk is cheap!
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Az_lefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 04:38 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. self delete
Edited on Sun Jul-23-06 11:14 PM by Az_lefty
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LeftCoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 04:38 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. I'm glad these signing statements finally seem to be getting some press
It's about time! In some ways this is one of the most disturbing aspects of this misadministration.
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samsingh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 04:38 AM
Response to Reply #11
17. this has been obvious for years
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ShockediSay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 04:38 AM
Response to Reply #11
18. "Flouting" may be a nice word for SUBVERTING.
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 04:38 AM
Response to Reply #11
19. Hoot!
Who is it who is suing bush*co over the signing statements? I can't recall if it the ACLU or the ABA.

Either way, the ABA's conclusion is damning.
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Lochloosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 05:46 AM
Response to Original message
20. US News edited out this little tidbit. Wonder why?
The ABA report said President Reagan was the first to use the statements as a strategic weapon, and that it was encouraged by then-administration lawyer Samuel Alito now the newest Supreme Court justice.

Try the USA Today article

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-07-24-lawy...
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goforit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #20
33. Hmm..... there is a turd under every stone.
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The Wizard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
21. AG Gonzo
needs to be disbarred for legal malpractice and just being an incompetent jack ass.
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sabbat hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
22.  ABA: Bush violating Constitution
President Bush's penchant for writing exceptions to laws he has just signed violates the Constitution, an American Bar Association task force says in a report highly critical of the practice.

The ABA group, which includes a one-time FBI director and former federal appeals court judge, said the president has overstepped his authority in attaching challenges to hundreds of new laws.


http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/07/24/lawyers.bush.ap/...
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. CONGRESS - MIA
That's the rub and the shame of it.

It is one thing to kneel at the foot of Boy George because he has the religious reich in his pocket; it is another to hand away their constitutional powers and duties, because of Boy George's war on a noun which signifies a frightful emotion.
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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. "A dictatorship would be okay - as
long as I'm the dictator." GWB
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AndyA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. That's my sig line. That alone shows the arrogance of Bush, and his
desire to control the world. Worse leadership would be difficult to find. He's a poor President, a lousy leader, and a small, small man.
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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #25
39. Don't forget mean and cruel. His treatment of
Karla Tucker before execution was reprehensible. It was the first time I truly learned to hate him.
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MrTriumph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. "A decidership would be okay - as
long as I am the decider"
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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #26
40. At least he admits to being
the "decider".

Guess we will have to keep proving the dictator part until we can get rid of him.
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Poll_Blind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #22
27. Can they start disbarring supporters of his illegal acts?
Sounds a reasonable response to me...

PB
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #27
36. Start with Alito. He's complicit in the extreme.
The ABA report said President Reagan was the first to use the statements as a strategic weapon, and that it was encouraged by then-administration lawyer Samuel Alito -- now the newest Supreme Court justice.

from: http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/07/24/lawyers.bush.ap/...
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Generator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #36
45. Yep
All those that voted for the creep (or cloture same damn thing)and claim they were too stupid to know what they are doing-tought shit. I'm a little housewife here and I begged the cretins to not vote for Alito and Roberts was no better-but oh hum, why do we care if the actual PURPOSE of our role in governmemnt is erased. The congress has made themselves obsolete. It's called a unitary executive. Unitary means one. Dumb, deluded or complicit. Maybe it's the trifecta.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #27
37. That's EXACTLY what I was wondering.
Edited on Mon Jul-24-06 12:00 PM by chill_wind
And what I was wondering about a People's remedy of any kind when I asked about what can be done about Arlen Specter if this issue continues to be subverted by Congress itself.

Half of them at least must be lawyers. Maybe more? With this latest pronouncement, they can no longer BEGIN to pretend to be ignorant of the Constitutional issues here or the opinion and advice of one of their own largest governing bodies.
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kurth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #22
28. Constitution is just "a goddamned piece of paper"
"I dont give a goddamn. Im the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way."
- George W. Bush, Nov. 2005
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Bush_MUST_Go Donating Member (378 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. "I'm the commander -- see, I don't need to explain ........
"I'm the commander -- see, I don't need to explain -- I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."

-- GW Bush, interviewed by Bob Woodward, Crawford, TX, August 20, 2002
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goforit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #28
35. You mean toilet paper to the Repugs.
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The Wizard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #28
44. Isn't the criteria
for the title Commander-in Chief only valid in a declared war? Congress hasn't declared war since December 8,1941, and that one ended in August 1945. Criminal-in-Chief would be closer to reality.
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missTheBigDog Donating Member (142 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
34. Another reason to get rid of this moron
Where is our version of Ken Starr? Why don't the Dems have the balls to move this forward with impeachment?
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twaddler01 Donating Member (800 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 03:53 PM
Response to Original message
38. Yep, read earlier today, K&R nt
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
41. Clarification on Signing Statements
Signing statements can be grouped into 3 categories:

Rhetorical, "this is a great law"

Political, "this law meets the need of our unions"

Constitutional, "I'm signing this law, but won't enforce section 2"
In common usage, the phrase "signing statement" normally refers to 'Constitutional' statements that direct how the law is to be applied.

It is common for different metrics to be used when counting an executive's total use of signing statements. A flat count of total signing statements would include the rhetorical and political statements as well as the constitutional. This may give a misleading number when the intent is to count the number of constitutional challenges issued.

The first president to issue a signing statement was James Monroe. Until the 1980s, with some exceptions, signing statements were generally triumphal, rhetorical, or political proclamations and went mostly unannounced. Until Ronald Reagan became President, only 75 statements had been issued. Reagan and his successors George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton made 247 signing statements between them. As of 2006, George W. Bush has issued over 130 signing statements containing more than 750 constitutional challenges.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signing_statements#_note-s...
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twaddler01 Donating Member (800 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
42. Specter prepping bill to sue Bush
Edited on Mon Jul-24-06 07:25 PM by twaddler01
I hope this isn't a dupe, but it fits this subject:

EDIT: here is new article probably deserves new placement:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Writer

<snip>

WASHINGTON - A powerful Republican committee chairman who has led the fight against President Bush's signing statements said Monday he would have a bill ready by the end of the week allowing Congress to sue him in federal court.

"We will submit legislation to the United States Senate which will...authorize the Congress to undertake judicial review of those signing statements with the view to having the president's acts declared unconstitutional," Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said on the Senate floor.

Specter's announcement came the same day that an American Bar Association task force concluded that by attaching conditions to legislation, the president has sidestepped his constitutional duty to either sign a bill, veto it, or take no action.

Bush has issued at least 750 signing statements during his presidency, reserving the right to revise, interpret or disregard laws on national security and constitutional grounds.

FROM: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060724/ap_on_go_co/signing...

Lets impeach his a**!!!
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eviltwin2525 Donating Member (269 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
43. this is stupid
Congress ALREADY HAS the right to review the "president's" actions, all by itself. IT'S CALLED IMPEACHMENT. The Constitution works just fine if we have the balls to freakin' use it!
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smacky44 Donating Member (275 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #43
46. Fellow poster, I have to agree with you. Nuff said!!!
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
47. arlen specter will now take over this dangerous momentum
and drive it straight into oblivion.
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april Donating Member (826 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
48. Spector BILL Read
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