January 7, 2007

Signing Statements

I am disgusted by those signing statements that our president often publishes when he signs legislation into law.

Take for example the recent Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act and the signing statement.

Under our Constitution the job of Congress is to say what is to be done and the job of the President is to faithfully do it.

In signing statements our president is saying he will not obey his oath to "faithfully execute" his job.

Instead he is saying that he has legislative authority that trumps that of Congress.  What hogwash.  If Congress enacts a law that says that the President has to dress in a clown suit when flying on the airplane (Air Force One) that Congress has provided (and which we taxpayers pay for) then the President would be obligated to wear a clown suit.

Most of us believe that the judiciary should refrain from making laws and should instead endeavor to apply laws to concrete cases.  The president and his party are among those least willing to give any flexibility to the judiciary on this matter.  Yet, our president is legislating with these signing statements.

And let's not even begin to go into the inane claims of presidential authority emitting from the nonsense called the "unified executive".

Were I in Congress I would suggest that Congress pass a resolution indicating that it is the sense of Congress that these "signing statements" should be given no weight whatsoever by the Federal judiciary when trying to ascertain legislative intent when resolving ambiguities in the law.

If our president were trying to be constructive he could point out perceived ambiguities during the legislative process and ask Congress to resolve them.

Posted by karl at January 7, 2007 2:41 AM