Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Activist President Uses Signing Orders To establish An Out Of Control Imperial Presidency

It was thought up to recently that the Stem Cell Bill veto was the only veto of the Bush Administration, but an investigation by the American Bar Association has uncovered at least 807 examples of "signing statements" by Bush. These "signing statements" are an "interpretation " of the legislation on the part of the White House to ignore and fail to enforce portions of these bills.

During all of the Presidential Administrations in the history of this nation, only a little over 600 signing statements have been used. Many were during the serious time of war during the FDR years, and some could probably be justified in terms of national security.

A signing statement cannot be overridden by Congress like a veto. A signing statement effectively guts portions of the legislation and makes the presidency an "imperial one". It is executive branch activism at it's worst.

Without the benefit of the constitutional balance of powers and checks and balances, the White House has made itself untouchable in authority, and Congress no balance of power to control outrageous abuses of this form of imperial presidency.

The argument of ABA is that the White House should be in contact with Congress and let them know which portions of a bill are unacceptable. But signing statements are an unfair rebalancing of the historic balance of powers, giving the White House an imperial nature and way overstepping their given authority. Even conservative members of the ABA such as Bruce Fein find this overstepping of White House authority wholly unacceptable.


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