Power of the pen

The American Conservative
by James Bovard

for publication 07/17/06

The 'signing statement' gambit for stretching presidential power was hatched during the Reagan administration. Attorney General Ed Meese instructed Samuel Alito, then a Justice Department lawyer, to analyze how such presidential assertions could buttress the administration's viewpoints in court. But Alito was a piker compared to George W. Bush. Alito declared that the Justice Department should 'concentrate on points of true ambiguity, rather than issuing interpretations that may seem to conflict with those of Congress.' Bush, on the other hand, has used signing statements to negate the most important parts of legislation. According to the Bush administration, if the president issues a signing statement memo that is printed in the Federal Register, federal agencies are not obliged to obey laws enacted by Congress...

//www.amconmag.com/2006/2006_07_03/feature.html


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