"George W. Bush did not invent the document known as the presidential signing statement; he inherited it. Franklin Roosevelt, Bill Clinton, and even James Monroe, in 1830, authored the statements, which spell out the president's sometimes controversial interpretation of the very law he's signing. But no president has used signing statements quite like Bush.[Via TalkLeft]
Although the president has not issued more statements in total than any other president, he has challenged more than 750 laws in more than 100 signing statements. And he has used them to, in effect, challenge parts of laws, and challenge them more aggressively, than any president before him. Bush's liberal use of those statements first attracted attention in December 2005, when he signed a torture banÂbut then added a statement reserving the right not to enforce the ban, alongside his signature. Since then, Congress has held a hearing to investigate Bush's use of the statements, a bipartisan advocacy group has condemned their use, and Democratic Rep. Barney Frank has introduced a bill that would allow Congress to override content in them that contradicts signed legislation.
Now, U.S. News has learned, an American Bar Association task force is set to suggest even stronger action. In a report to be released Monday, the task force will recommend that Congress pass legislation providing for some sort of judicial review of the signing statements. Some task force members want to simply give Congress the right to sue over the signing statements; other task force members will not characterize what sort of judicial review might ultimately emerge."
Signing statements previously were a way of telling the Executive Department how the President interpreted the legislation he signed. Under Bush it has become the way the President tells the Executive Departments to ignore the legislation Bush signs. This is more of the Executive over all other departments of the Federal government that Cheney and Rumsfeld have pushed since January 2001. Constitutional checks & balances? Forget it. The way Bush et. al. have been using Signing Statements, America has reverted to an absolute monarchy more powerful than the monarchy of George III from whom America revolted.
The way Bush has used the Signing Statements is totally unAmerican. It should be criminal, and may be. The ABA needs to get on it quickly!
impeachmentt? This fits the definition.