Best Viewed with IE or Opera. Sorry, Firefox works, but loses some sidebar layout,
'my profile' and other stuff... Anybody with a fix, please leave a comment. Many thanks in advance.

That said, if you must use Firefox (and I don't blame you, it's become my browser of choice, too)
...get the "IE Tab" extension. This allows you to view problem pages with the IE rendering engine. Very cool!

Monday, May 08, 2006

How Bush Sidesteps Intent of Congress

President Bush signed a military spending bill in December that included a hard-fought amendment banning the cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of foreign prisoners. Then he put a statement in the Federal Register asserting his right to ignore the ban when necessary, in his judgment, to protect Americans from terrorism.
 
In March, Bush signed a renewal of search and surveillance provisions of the USA Patriot Act and said at a public ceremony that civil liberties would be protected by a series of new amendments. Then he quietly inserted another statement in the Federal Register that virtually nullified one of those amendments, a requirement that the administration report to Congress on the FBI's use of its powers under the Patriot Act to seize library, bookstore and business records.
 
Civics textbooks say presidents have two choices when Congress passes a bill that's not completely to their liking: They can sign it into law, or they can veto it and let Congress try to override them.
 
Bush, far more than any of his predecessors, is resorting to a third option: signing a bill while reserving the right to disregard any part of it that he considers an infringement on his executive authority or constitutional powers.
 
In more than five years in office, the president has never vetoed a bill. But while approving new laws, he has routinely issued signing statements interpreting the legislation in ways that amount to partial vetoes of provisions to which he objects.
 
White House spokesman Blair Jones insisted that Bush is not trying to undermine the lawmaking authority of Congress, and noted that many past presidents have issued statements on the meaning of bills they sign.
 
Presidential scholars, in fact, trace signing statements back to the early 19th century. But for much of the nation's history, they have been little more than bureaucratic memos instructing subordinates on the implementation of new laws. Bush has transformed them into declarations of executive supremacy.
 
According to Christopher Kelley, an assistant professor of political science at Miami University in Ohio who has studied presidential powers, Bush issued 505 statements in his first term objecting to portions of new laws on constitutional grounds. Documents available at the White House Web site indicate that the number since Bush took office now exceeds 700.
 
By comparison, Kelley said, President Ronald Reagan, the first to use signing statements as an instrument of presidential power, issued 71 such statements in two terms; President George Bush issued 146 in one term; and President Bill Clinton issued 105 in two terms.
 
The numbers tell only part of the story, said Phillip Cooper, a professor of government administration at Portland State University who has studied signing statements and other executive actions.
 
"This administration has been much more systematic and much broader in scope'' in signing statements, Cooper said, on its "path to expand presidential powers at the expense of Congress and the courts.''
-----

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

free webpage hit counter

Performancing