WASHINGTON: Calling into question the legitimacy of all the signing statements that former President George W. Bush used to challenge new laws, President Barack Obama on Monday ordered executive officials to consult with Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. before relying on any of them to bypass a statute.You can do that...but...you know...don't do that.
But Obama also signaled that he intended to use signing statements himself if Congress sent him legislation that had provisions he decided were unconstitutional. He pledged to use a modest approach when doing so, but said there was a role for the practice if used appropriately.
I'm beginning to think our current sitting president is a bit wishy-washy. It's either that...or he truly believes that the vast majority of Americans hold the metality and intellect of second graders.
The signing statement approach became necessary for Reagan, because the Democrat heavy congress would continuously stuff in unconstitutional ryders and entries into each bill. He was forced to add signing statements to assure that important legislation didn't sit in "limboland" or require a veto because some moron from Massachusetts added language that would counter the "right to own guns" or exercise free speech...etc. As you will recall, the United States was in a nasty recession thanks to Friar Carter's touch. It required action and the application of supply side economics to bring us back to prosperity.
George W. Bush used signing statements more routinely because the processing of the Patriot Act, and shoring up our internal security became a priority, and portions of that Bill could, indeed, be perceived as unconstitutional. In short, it is the closest we, as a country, have gotten to a "line item veto." The amusing thing here is that President Obama is questioning the legitimacy so as to retain the support of the all powerful "American Bar Association."
The American Bar Association declared that such signing statements were "contrary to the rule of law and our constitutional separation of powers," calling on Bush and all future presidents to stop using them and to return to a system of either signing a bill and then enforcing all of it, or vetoing the bill and giving Congress a chance to override that veto.But, out of the other side of his mouth, President Obama is telling us that he plans on using the same tool in his presidency.
In his memorandum, Obama wrote: "Particularly since omnibus bills have become prevalent, signing statements have often been used to ensure that concerns about the constitutionality of discrete statutory provisions do not require a veto of the entire legislation."Let's correct the journalist's obvious bias here...shall we? Here...try this:
Obama's policy directive was consistent with what he said during the 2008 presidential campaign. Responding to a Boston Globe questionnaire about executive power, he criticized Bush's aggressive use of signing statements as an abuse, but also said that he would use them, too, albeit in a more restrained manner.
President Obama is going to use the signing statement as well. Only, he's going to use it to promote his agenda...and therefore, it is warranted...and not an abuse.
Personally, I don't think President Obama would recognize the US Constitution if it came up and bit him on the a$$.