Every time I read articles like this I remember that old SchoolHouse Rock cartoon, back in the day when we had real Saturday morning cartoons, teaching all the young kids how a bill becomes a law. I then wish I had a copy of that to send to the White House because they evidently missed that cartoon:
The office of Vice President Dick Cheney routinely reviews pieces of legislation before they reach the president’s desk, searching for provisions that Cheney believes would infringe on presidential power, according to former White House and Justice Department officials.
The officials said Cheney’s legal adviser and chief of staff, David Addington , is the Bush a dministration’s leading architect of the “signing statements” the president has appended to more than 750 laws. The statements assert the president’s right to ignore the laws because they conflict with his interpretation of the Constitution.
The Bush-Cheney administration has used such statements to claim for itself the option of bypassing a ban on torture, oversight provisions in the USA Patriot Act, and numerous requirements that they provide certain information to Congress, among other laws.
Previous vice presidents have had neither the authority nor the interest in reviewing legislation. But Cheney has used his power over the administration’s legal team to promote an expansive theory of presidential authority. Using signing statements, the administration has challenged more laws than all previous administrations combined.
Article 1, section 7 of the Constitution states the following:
Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.
Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.
No where in that does it say anything about “signing statements”. If there were such a thing as these “signing statements” they would require an amendment to the Constitution. Can someone find this amendment because I sure as hell can’t?
If Bush does not like the legislation he is suppose to veto it. That is his obligation under the Constitution that makes up our government. He continues to violate the constitution and moves the office of the President further to an imperialistic power. I can not even begin to convey what a grave danger that is to our democracy.
Funny we learn more about this on the very weekend we honor the fallen soldiers who gave their life defending our country. Ignoring the Constitution is like ignoring America herself and doing so is a pure slap in the face to the memory of those fallen soldiers. It is also a crime against the Constitution and grounds for impeachment. We can not allow this to continue.