Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Bush on signing statements: pseudo-legislative mumbo-jumbo
From the Washington Post's June 27 article on presidential signing statements:
The bill-signing statements say Bush reserves a right to revise, interpret or disregard measures on national security and constitutional grounds.
You can't reserve a right you don't have. The courts will interpret law based on Congressional intent, not Presidential intent, because laws, after all, aren't written by the President. The President can signal how he will interpret the law, but if his interpretation differs from the words or intent of the legislation, then he won't be changing the law, he'll be putting us on notice about how he intends to violate it. As for the matter of constitutionality, that's what the Supreme Court is for. When the Administration disputes the constitutionality of a law, it requests an opinion from the Supreme Court. That's the way it's always worked, and that's they way it should work.
Maybe Bush will tell us next that if he crosses his fingers while signing a bill, it doesn't count.