All rights reserved

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee is supposed to be holding hearings on presidential signing statements – the administration’s equivalent of holding crossed fingers behind one’s back while signing something into law.

From today’s New York Times:

…[A]ccording to the White House… [a] law is not binding when a president issues a separate statement saying he reserves the right to revise, interpret or disregard it on national security and constitutional grounds.

That’s the argument a Bush administration official is expected to make Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who has demanded a hearing on a practice he considers an example of the administration’s abuse of power.

I can see the White House’s point. I mean really, it would make things so much easier if the president could just interpret the constitutionality of a law rather than the judiciary branch. Who needs those activists, anyway? The money we could save on black robes alone! Of course, we could really streamline government if the executive branch got to write laws, too.

ADDITION TO POST: You can read the testimony from the hearing on the Senate Judiciary Committee webpage. Leahy was clearly pissed that the Administration didn’t send someone high up to talk to them.

3 thoughts on “All rights reserved

  1. I love how the argument for why it’s legal is “Well, it’s legal. It’s legal. It’s legal because we say it’s legal.”

    I’ve heard a lot of ultra-Conservatives say that the checks and balances is just a myth anyway.

    And with all the toadies on his side in Congress, there are only those “troublemaker” and “unpatriotic” and “terrorist loving” liberals to point out that we have a Constitution for a reason.

    I wonder if King George will ever figure that out?

  2. I understand where Bush’s people are coming from by not sending someone important to the hearing. They want to let people think that it’s “no big deal” and isn’t worth bothering someone too high up.

    After all, it’s legal, right? So why bother someone who’s time could be better spent fighting terrorists?

  3. I wonder two things, really – – –
    1. Will King George permit us to hold an election to replace him? I can think of several scenarios where they could be prompted to not hold an election – “surprise” terrorist attacks, bio warfare attack, etc. If nothing stops the Right in their endless quest for endless power, then what makes me think that something as inconsequential as the Constitution (Which they ignore when it’s convenient now anyway)?

    2. If the election is not held, what makes me think that the Democratic party will not speak up against it, but instead cower, as they have these last five years?

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