Bush quietly broke 750 laws

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2006/04/30/bush_challenges_hundreds_of_laws/

Um…
I’m not surprised, but the number is a bit shocking. Love to have the full list.

Please go vote this fall!

Only 750? :-/

Your subject head is extremely misleading. Bush has not broken (that we know of) 750 laws. He is asserting that he CAN break them should he want to.

I don’t agree with his assertion, but that doesn’t stop me from also disagreeing with your choice of subject heads.

As long as you’re posting from a “Free Speech Zone,” that’s very much your right.

So how many did he actually break, that we know of?

It’s the Bush administration, not the public, that has set up the expectation that if he, or one of his minions, are defending the right to break that law, then they probably are. It’s certainly the safer bet.

Ok if I could change it - Bush quietly wants to break 750 laws. Is that better?

To shift the argument from the semantic to the practical, this is actually pretty fucking worrying. It seems as if he’s trying to incorporate the judiciary’s role of determing the constitutionality of a law into his own executive position. Why aren’t the Justices, particularly the literalists, up in arms about this? Bush is claiming that he has the authority, by fiat, to decide whether or not a law is constitutional in its restriction of the authority of the executive branch. Not only that - he’s willfully subverting congressional authority, as well, by working outside the system of checks and balances, and simply claiming that he is free to decide what laws he follows and what laws he breaks.

Are the other republicans in the judiciary, senate, and congress really so cowed to party loyalty above all else that they’re content to allow their constitutional authority to be eroded in this manner? Aren’t they at all concerned about the future, when one of their boys won’t be in the chief executive office, but his precedent will be?

If there’s one thing I’d always expected politicians to be, it was jealous of the powers of their office. And yet now, it’s as if they’re happy to simply give them away, for no apparent gain to themselves. Can someone clue me in on the rationale here? Is this a concerted effort by republicans as a whole to dismantle our three tiered system in favor of one overwhelming executive authority? That seems awfully tough to swallow.

I am with you on that Quatoria. I can’t see how anyone, no matter how great their Republican spirit, just goes along with saying “Congress does not matter anymore”. And even the arch conservative Justices can’t think that becoming the rubber stamp of the administration is a good thing. Then again maybe they at least figure they will wait to contest this once W is out of office.

Bush is also the first president in modern history who has never vetoed a bill, an act that gives public notice that he is rejecting a law and can be overridden by Congress. Instead, Bush has used signing statements to declare that he can bypass numerous provisions in new laws.

The statements attracted little attention in Congress or the media until recently, when Bush used them to reserve a right to bypass a new torture ban and new oversight provisions in the Patriot Act.

''The problem is that you have a statute, which Congress has passed, and then the signing statements negate that statute," Specter said. ''And there are more and more of them coming. If the president doesn’t like something, he puts a signing statement on it."

Specter added: ''He put a signing statement on the Patriot Act. He put a signing statement on the torture issue. It’s a very blatant encroachment on [Congress’s constitutional] powers. If he doesn’t like the bill, let him veto it."

It was during a Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on the FBI that Specter yesterday announced his intent to hold a hearing on Bush’s legal authority. Another committee member, Senator Russ Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, also questioned Bush’s assertions that he has the authority to give himself an exemption from certain laws.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2006/05/03/hearing_vowed_on_bushs_powers/?page=2

In the end the Federal Courts will decide whether he can do this. I seriously doubt that he can. Find someone who has been tourtured and have him bring a suit against the US government for damages, I suspect that the courts would accept jurisdiction and find that all the signing statement does is indicate intent to violate the law, making it even easier to win a case against the government.

Impeach this fucker already. Certainly we can find a better Republican, who will not break law after law, or threaten to. Or, if you prefer, find a Democrat.

Ridiculous. Get on this, Congress. Impeach this bastard.

A large part of the support for Congressional Republicans is still probably reflected support for Bush. How many people do you think are out there who would vote against their incumbent Republican if he opposed impeachment, but would support him if he supported it? I doubt there are terribly many.

A panel of legal scholars and lawyers assembled by the American Bar Association is sharply criticizing the use of “signing statements” by President Bush that assert his right to ignore or not enforce laws passed by Congress.

In a report to be issued today, the ABA task force said that Bush has lodged more challenges to provisions of laws than all previous presidents combined.

The panel members described the development as a serious threat to the Constitution’s system of checks and balances, and they urged Congress to pass legislation permitting court review of such statements.

“The president is indicating that he will not either enforce part or the entirety of congressional bills,” said ABA president Michael S. Greco, a Massachusetts attorney. “We will be close to a constitutional crisis if this issue, the president’s use of signing statements, is left unchecked.”

Determining the rarity of this approach is a matter of some dispute. The Justice Department has said that Bush has issued 110 signing statements, compared with President Bill Clinton’s 80.

In testimony last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Michelle E. Boardman denied that Bush was trying to “cherry-pick” among the parts of a duly enacted law. “Presidential signing statements are, rather, a statement by the president explaining his interpretation of and responsibilities under the law,” she said.

The ABA task force, chaired by prominent Miami attorney Neil Sonnett, cites research that Bush in his signing statements has collectively lodged more than 800 challenges to provisions of laws passed by Congress.

Task force members said the nature of the challenges has also changed under Bush, with many objections being lodged under the “unitary executive” theory, the idea that congressional checks on the president’s power are limited.

If the president has constitutional problems with a bill, the task force said, he should convey those concerns to Congress before it reaches his desk. The panel said signing statements should not be a substitute for vetoing bills the president considers unconstitutional.

“The President’s constitutional duty is to enforce laws he has signed into being unless and until they are held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court or a subordinate tribunal,” panel members wrote. “The Constitution is not what the President says it is.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/23/AR2006072300511.html