Arlen Specter Wants to Sue the President

Senator Specter, of Pennsylvania, is working on a bill and will have it ready by the end of the week allowing Congress to sue the President in federal court. At question are President Bush’s ‘signing statements’ on pieces of legislation. Specter wants to authorize the Congress to take judicial review of the statements and have the President’s actions declared unconstitutional. Signing statements have been used previously by Presidents but Bush’s seem to state that he either thinks the bill may be unconstitutional or may violate national security. Specter has been critical of Bush’s use of executive power on policy matters. In anycase the signing statements are not officially parts of the signed law and hold pretty much no weight in a court of law so I am not really sure why Specter is wasting his time on this matter, other than that he is old and wants to get himself back in the spotlight again.

1 Comment so far

  1. Spencer (unregistered) on July 26th, 2006 @ 11:17 am

    I am not claiming to be an expert on the subject, but I gather the issue is that the Bush administration is accused of using signing statements to avoid enforcing laws without actually vetoing them. Since the stem cell veto a few weeks ago was the administrations first veto in 6+ years, that belief is understandable. If this is the case, wouldn’t it then be constitutional to allow a law to go into effect, all the while saying you don’t endorse it? It takes the Legislative and Judicial branches out of the equation and makes the law moot. What Specter is doing is attempting to bring both branches back into law making.

    And yes other administrations have used signing statements, but not to the extent of Bush who has used them more than all other administrations combined.



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