First a bipartisan American Bar Association panel decried George W. Bush’s unconstitutional use of signing statements. And now, according to The Boston Globe, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) has declared that the President is using signing statements as “an integral part of his comprehensive strategy to strengthen and expand executive power at the expense of the legislative branch.”
Read the confidential report posted here.
Signing statements are assertions by a president that he (or, someday, she) need not obey or enforce the bill he is signing into law. Before the current Bush regime, all presidents in our nation’s history had issued signing statements for approximately 600 laws. But King George alone has challenged over 800 laws. A recent example – in signing a bill barring the Pentagon from using illegally obtained intelligence, The Decider suggested that he alone can make that determination.
The CRS report deemed that many of Bush’s assertions of presidential powers are “generally unsupported by established legal principles.”
Anyone who cares about our nation’s historical separation of powers and the checks and balances of our Constitution knows that George Bush must be reined in and reined in now. Fortunately, we have the opportunity to elect a Congress that will do just that on November 7.