Presidential Signing Statements

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Digby of Hullaballoo has an important post on President Bush’s use of “signing statements” to signal to Congress that he has no intention of following the actual laws that are passed in the legislature. Here’s a Knight-Ridder story on the subject:

In fact, Bush has used signing statements to reject, revise or put his spin on more than 500 legislative provisions. Experts say he has been far more aggressive than any previous president in using the statements to claim sweeping executive power – and not just on national security issues. […]

Signing statements don’t have the force of law, but they can influence judicial interpretations of a statute. They also send a powerful signal to executive branch agencies on how the White House wants them to implement new federal laws.

In some cases, Bush bluntly informs Congress that he has no intention of carrying out provisions that he considers an unconstitutional encroachment on his authority.

Are there any Republicans in Congress who actually care that the president considers them more or less irrelevant whenever he feels like? It doesn’t seem so.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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