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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Serving the President

Posted by on June 28 at 9:35 AM

I’ve been wondering when Congress would throw a hissy about President Bush basically nullifying their powers. From the Boston Globe:

WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Arlen Specter, said yesterday that he is “seriously considering” filing legislation to give Congress legal standing to sue President Bush over his use of signing statements to reserve the right to bypass laws.

Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, made his comments after a Judiciary Committee hearing on signing statements, which are official documents that Bush has used to challenge the constitutionality of more than 750 laws when signing legislation .

We’ll see if this actually goes anywhere (the smart money’s on “nope”), but it’s at least a small step in the right direction.

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but then won't Bush have to return from Gaul to fight the Senate and take the title of Emperor? If Specter is Cato, who is Marc Antony?

The problem I have with all the articles about the signing statements is that they assert, as if it were a _fact_, that the statements "basically nullify [the laws'] powers." That is not a fact -- it is something that Bush dearly wishes were true and he is acting as if it were true. But I know of no authority in the Constitution for that proposition.

Bush's breach of his legal authority needs to be a much bigger issue than it is.

(I am admitted to practice law in Washington and California, for what it's worth.)

But since the President is in charge of enforcing the laws he says he's under no obligation to obey, how do you stop him from violating them?

I'm not an expert on political issues like that (I do criminal defense and I also follow higher education law) but, as far as I know, the only way to get Bush to behave is to impeach him and then remove him from office.

Unfortunately the smug bastard knows it. He has no _ethical_ compass that would lead him to honor the oth of office or the Constitution. So without a political check, he'll just do what he damn well pleases, and laugh all the way.

The funny thing is that most of the signing statements will be used by a Dem president to make Bushies toe the line in just a couple of years.

Impeachment is certainly an option. Would that our Senate, however, respect the precedents of its Roman forebearers...

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