Presidential Signing Statements
The Bush-Cheney White House is responsible for the birth of a new constitutional doctrine . Bush has elevated himself to become a judiciary of one. When the president signs legislation passed by Congress, he frequently adds his own signing statement stating those legislative provisions he intends to ignore based on his interpretation of the Constitution. This caused the New York Times to note, “President Bush doesn't bother with vetoes; he simply declares his intention not to enforce anything he dislikes.”
Through the magic of the president’s petulant pen, signing statements never mentioned in the Constitution, Bush has ordered the torture of prisoners and spying on U.S. citizens without a warrant. Just have the boys in the back room knock out one of those signing statements. It’s all good.
But this seems odd. We’ve never seen a creature quite like this before. As Common Sense Common Grounds poster Noonan points out, the U.S. Constitution describes the division of federal powers in a fashion that even a sixth grader can understand.
The following is from the American Barr Association’s Law Day curriculum for elementary school students.
· Understand the concept of separation of powers.
· Recognize how the Constitution provides for separation of powers.