…But Even If I Did, It Would Be Totally Okay.

February 1st, 2007at 06:37pm Posted by Eli

I’m wondering just exactly what approach the Bush administration is going to take toward Conyers’ hearings on presidential signing statements.

Obviously, they are vigorously asserting that the signing statements are perfectly legal and well within the scope of presidential authority. Personally, I might go along with a First Amendment argument that the president is free to doodle whatever meaningless nonsense he wants on a new law, but it doesn’t actually signify anything other than the evolution of his delusions and mania.

But it also looks like the White House is denying that the president has ever actually acted on any of his signing statements, which I find very interesting. On the one hand, they claim that the president has full authority to exempt himself from any law he chooses, but on the other hand, they claim that he has never actually taken advantage of that exemption. I’m no lawyer, but this suggests to me that they are well aware of just how shaky their legal ground is. If they were truly confident of the president’s imperviousness to law, they would have no compunction about saying that he does so on a daily basis, because they would have no reason to fear any legal repercussions. Or, alternatively, perhaps it is their political ground that’s shaky, and their fear is of political repercussions.

In either case, whatever they may say, the administration acts like they know the signing statements have very questionable legal merit.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Constitution,Politics,Wankers


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