Forum Discussion

on Congress ... with unitary executive who needs it. (March 25, 2006 4:17 AM)
Posted by: Good Will
So apparantly that whole bit about Legistlative branch writing law and executive branch carrying them out that written in the Constitution does not really matter to Mr. Bush. I mean who needs to actually sign laws that were passed by Congres when you just add a little addendum that says: "Hey, screw you guys, I am doing what I want". Any of you "conservatives" want to tell me why is it the president can just randomly make up laws. Anyone? Anyone at all? It used to be conservatives were about upholding traditions like, oh lets say, Constitution, but who needs that nowadays. What exactly are you guys conserving? This is an actual question mind ya.

WASHINGTON -- When President Bush signed the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act this month, he included an addendum saying that he did not feel obliged to obey requirements that he inform Congress about how the FBI was using the act's expanded police powers

The bill contained several oversight provisions intended to make sure the FBI did not abuse the special terrorism-related powers to search homes and secretly seize papers. The provisions require Justice Department officials to keep closer track of how often the FBI uses the new powers and in what type of situations. Under the law, the administration would have to provide the information to Congress by certain dates.

Bush signed the bill with fanfare at a White House ceremony March 9, calling it ''a piece of legislation that's vital to win the war on terror and to protect the American people." But after the reporters and guests had left, the White House quietly issued a ''signing statement," an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law.

In the statement, Bush said that he did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law's requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that disclosure would ''impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional duties."

on Congress ... with unitary executive who needs it. (March 26, 2006 1:44 AM)
Posted by: Invader Jim
Leave it to the lberals to wrap themselves in the Constitution, while claiming that a statement by Bush saying he'll adhere to the Constitution as unconstitutional:

"The executive branch shall construe the provisions . . . that call for furnishing information to entities outside the executive branch . . . IN A MANNER CONSISTENT WITH THE PRESIDENT'S CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information . . . " (emphasis added)
on Congress ... with unitary executive who needs it. (March 26, 2006 6:03 PM)
Posted by: Good Will
You of course realize that when presidents sign a bill passed by Congress into law they are not allowed to arbitarily change it right?
on Congress ... with unitary executive who needs it. (April 2, 2006 11:41 PM)
Posted by: Good Will
*hears only crickets*
Or are you, Jim, trying to find somewhere in the Constitution where Executive branch can rewrite laws passed by Congress before signing.
on Congress ... with unitary executive who needs it. (April 4, 2006 11:50 PM)
Posted by: Invader Jim
A signing statement is basically the President saying "yes, I sign this into law, and this is the law as I interpret it." All he is saying in this particular one is that he will carry out the law in accordance with the Constitution. It's an arguable point as to whether or not it is constitutional, and I couldn't say 100% either way. I would probably need to see how it is applied. And if it's applied in a manner that is unconstitutional, then that instance should be challenged. But this signing statement doesn't arbitrarily change the law.

As much as it pains me :) to quote the Clinton Justice Dept, it did issue a reasonable memo in 1993 saying:
"If the President may properly decline to enforce a law, at least when it unconstitutionally encroaches on his powers, then it arguably follows that he may properly announce to Congress and to the public that he will not enforce a provision of an enactment he is signing. If so, then a signing statement that challenges what the President determines to be an unconstitutional encroachment on his power, or that announces the President's unwillingness to enforce (or willingness to litigate) such a provision, can be a valid and reasonable exercise of Presidential authority."

It pretty much says what Bush's signing statement says - if part of the law isn't constitutional, the Prez won't enforce.

Now if only the President would do that for EVERY law that is unconstitutional.
on Congress ... with unitary executive who needs it. (April 5, 2006 12:05 PM)
Posted by: Good Will
>yes, I sign this into law, and this is the law as I interpret it
Only the judiciary is allowed to interpret the law. The executive branch si supposed to carry it out.

Please tell me what is so unconstitutional about congress oversight of intelligence programs? Why is it that congress not allowed to oversee them? and how does that encroach on executive branch?

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