Monday, July 24, 2006

ABA Gold

Posted by codemorse

The other day in this post, I wrote the following:

While I don't share Sullivan's comfort level with programs like TIA, I agree entirely that programs like TIA can be maintained within Constitutional boundaries. That the President has consistently and consciously chosen to disregard and/or test those boundaries is really the base, elemental source of my dislike for his administration.(emphasis added)

Always a welcome foil to my rampant liberality, Jabs responded with this:
In what sense do you think "the President has consistently and consciously chosen to disregard and/or test those boundaries"?

My answer's in the linked post above. One of the areas I cited as raising Constitutional issues? President Bush's ongoing love of "executive exceptions," or "bill-signing statements;" wherein laws that apply to everyone else magically don't apply to the President. Because he says so.

It's absurd. Apparently, the American Bar Association Task Force agrees:

President Bush's penchant for writing exceptions to laws he has just signed violates the Constitution, an American Bar Association task force says in a report highly critical of the practice.

The ABA group, which includes a one-time FBI director and former federal appeals court judge, said the president has overstepped his authority in attaching challenges to hundreds of new laws.

The attachments, known as bill-signing statements, say Bush reserves a right to revise, interpret or disregard measures on national security and constitutional grounds.

....The task force said the statements suggest the president will decline to enforce some laws. Bush has had more than 800 signing statement challenges, compared with about 600 signing statements combined for all other presidents, the group said.

Get that? 800 exceptions, compared to approximately 600 signed by every other President in history.

Certainly other President's have exercised this power, and I'm not presumptuous enough to say that this power shouldn't exist. But the sheer enormity of statements that Bush has brought into being is ludicrious.

In 5 1/2 years, Bush has eclipsed the rest of the American Presidency by far more than the proverbial country-mile.

How do you feel about that?


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