Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Republican’s bill will review Bush’s signing statements

The Associated Press
Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter is preparing a bill that will allow Congress to sue the president.

WASHINGTON | - A Republican who has led the fight against President Bush’s signing statements said Monday that he would soon have a bill ready allowing Congress to sue the president.

“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, a Pennsylvania Republican, 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 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.
It seems there is at least one other side to the story.

From AP

Bush is not without congressional allies on the matter. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a former judge, has said that signing statements are nothing more than expressions of presidential opinion that carry no legal weight because federal courts are unlikely to consider them when deciding cases that challenge the same laws.

"A great many of those signing statements may have little statements about questions about constitutionality," said White House spokesman Tony Snow. "It never says, 'We're not going to enact the law.'"

There,s a decent post at Wikipedia

I was just wondering if anyone was following the dustup over this. It seems to be a fairly common topic around the Liberal blogs. A local radio host(who is fairly Conservative) was opining yesterday that this was George Bush trying to have an "imperial Presidency". Maybe he was just trying to start a discussion. Interesting that call ins (including mine) were generally supportive of the President, to the tune of about 10 to 1. The 1 said everything you would expect of a conspiracy theory moonbat, I guess you've gotta have 1! Everything I've seen so far indicates that this has been used mainly on defense bills. It seems Arlen Specter(RINO) is now leading the charge to bring this rogue President undercontrol. I hope to goodness the Bush is sorry for supporting his reelection by now. So, I guess one question I have-Is this a sign of the President abusing his powers and trying to act unilaterally, or is this a case of Congress trying too hard to control the President and infringing on his Constitutional powers, especially his war and intelligence gathering powers? It certainly looks like another tempest in a teacup to me. It also looks like Congress has gotten a big head, so to speak. That's especially true if these statements have no real force of law, which appears to be the case. The few that I read had wording that said to the effect that "the legislative will enact these laws with respect to the Presidents constitutional powers".