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Old 09-20-2007, 01:58 PM   #25
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 225
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Mike eschews documentation, for personality-attacks...again.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Neil likes to assert things like the above and then drag you into a protracted discussion.... even though he's dimly aware that the initial statements he makes aren't true.
Mike likes to pretend that everything on his ideological side of the world is proceeding according to plan..even if that plan is shaping up to look increasingly like the itinerary on the Titanic...

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For instance, grabbing one of the above, "signing statements" are used to indicate that a new law does not override existing law's exception.
Excellent...yes, let's examine signing statements.

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As an example, it is illegal to open First Class mail and one of the laws Bush signed reinforced that idea. However, there are already (and have been, for many years) exceptions to that law in certain cases (criminal warrants, national emergencies, etc.). A "signing statement" indicating that those exceptions (which Bush didnt originate) still exist would be an example of what a signing statement does. It says that the new law is understood not to quash existing legally-accepted exceptions.
Now, gentle reader: if you're like me, and someone makes a claim that you KNOW to be false...what do you do? You're sitting in front of a computer...you COULD google it...or, you could simply attack the character of the person making said claims.

But for the more rational among us:

Signing statement (United States)

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Controversy over George W. Bush's use of signing statements

There is an ongoing controversy concerning the extensive use of signing statements to modify the meaning of laws by President George W. Bush. In July 2006, a task force of the American Bar Association described the use of signing statements to modify the meaning of duly enacted laws as "contrary to the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers".

George W. Bush's use of signing statements is controversial, both for the number of times employed (estimated at over 750 opinions) and for the apparent attempt to nullify legal restrictions on his actions through claims made in the statements. Some opponents have said that he in effect uses signing statements as a line-item veto although the Supreme Court has already held one line item veto bill to be an unconstitutional delegation of power in Clinton v. City of New York.

Previous administrations had made use of signing statements to dispute the validity of a new law or its individual components. George H. W. Bush challenged 232 statutes through signing statements during four years in office and Clinton challenged 140 over eight years. George W. Bush's 130 signing statements contain at least 1,100 challenges. In the words of a New York Times commentary:

And none have used it so clearly to make the president the interpreter of a law's intent, instead of Congress, and the arbiter of constitutionality, instead of the courts.

Others, however, have defended the use of presidential signing statements. The United States Department of Justice says that

Although the recent practice of issuing signing statements to create "legislative history" remains controversial, the other uses of Presidential signing statements generally serve legitimate and defensible purposes
You get that? Bush's OWN DoJ calls their usage controversial.

No, nothing "controversial" here! But wait, there's more:

Bush shuns Patriot Act requirement
In addendum to law, he says oversight rules are not binding


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Bush signed the bill with fanfare at a White House ceremony March 9, calling it ''a piece of legislation that's vital to win the war on terror and to protect the American people." But after the reporters and guests had left, the White House quietly issued a ''signing statement," an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law.

In the statement, Bush said that he did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law's requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that disclosure would ''impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional duties."

Bush wrote: ''The executive branch shall construe the provisions . . . that call for furnishing information to entities outside the executive branch . . . in a manner consistent with the president's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information . . . "
The statement represented the latest in a string of high-profile instances in which Bush has cited his constitutional authority to bypass a law.

Bush's expansive claims of the power to bypass laws have provoked increased grumbling in Congress. Members of both parties have pointed out that the Constitution gives the legislative branch the power to write the laws and the executive branch the duty to ''faithfully execute" them.

Several senators have proposed bills to bring the warrantless surveillance program under the law. One Democrat, Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin, has gone so far as to propose censuring Bush, saying he has broken the wiretapping law.
Bush challenges hundreds of laws

The Problem with Presidential Signing Statements: Their Use and Misuse by the Bush Administration

'Signing Statements' Study Finds Administration Has Ignored Laws

AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION TASK FORCE ON PRESIDENTIAL SIGNING STATEMENTS AND THE SEPARATION OF POWERS DOCTRINE

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RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association opposes, as contrary to the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers, the issuance of presidential signing
statements that claim the authority or state the intention to disregard or decline to enforce all or part of a law the President has signed, or to interpret such a law in a manner inconsistent with the
clear intent of Congress;
The Problem With Presidential Signing Statements

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What is new and troubling is the extraordinary frequency with which President Bush has used these statements, and the unorthodox way he uses them. The recent spate of presidential signing statements constitutes a threat to our country's system of checks and balances as surely as the Bush administration actions that the Hamdan ruling struck down did.

Since he took office, Bush has used this device to object to more than 500 provisions in more than 100 pieces of legislation--nearly as many as the 575 signing statements issued by all of his predecessors combined. In these statements, the president often has claimed that the new laws violate the Constitution and signaled his intention not to enforce certain provisions, despite having signed them into law.

These statements might be helpful in understanding complex legislation, even if their use were prompted by opportunistic motives. But it is one thing to refer to a signing statement to get some sense of what a law is about, and quite another to treat the statement as though it defines the president's responsibility under law, serving as an explicit order to everyone working in the executive branch.

President Bush dishonors traditions in his aggressive use of signing statements as one way among many to circumvent the congressional and judicial checks built into the Constitution.
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Mike Sigman wrote:
Now that's pretty easy to find out, the information on signing statements.
Sure is! Took me about...

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google wrote:
Results 1 - 10 of about 877,000 for "signing statements". (0.12 seconds)
.12 seconds.

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When someone disingenuously acts like a signing statement is some illegal or underhanded mechanism simply to use as a "gotcha",
When someone pretends that there is not controversy around W's use of signing statements in the face of reams of documentation...what have we got, Mike?

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Mike Sigman wrote:
you're talking about a basically dishonest person.
Exactly. You finally nailed it (with a little help). Good for you!