Registered Member
A good friend sent me this petition this morning. Take a look.

Call on President Bush to Uphold the Constitution!

For the past five years President Bush has virtually abandoned the use of the presidential veto. But during this same time he has used over 800 signing statements to avoid complying with newly passed laws. Tell President Bush, that like all Americans, he must abide by the Constitution>>

President Bush has used "signing statements" to ignore laws passed by the Congress that ban torture. In fact throughout his presidency Bush has claimed the power to ignore over 800 laws passed by Congress.

A signing statement is a written proclamation issued by the President that accompanies the signing of a law passed by Congress. President Bush has used these statements to indicate which pieces of the new law he intends to obey, and which he does not.

As a result the President has given himself unchecked power to decide which parts of the law will be followed based on his interpretation of their constitutionality. This clearly violates the very checks and balances set out by the Constitution's signers.

Already this administration has used over 800 signing statements as a means to nullify Congressionally passed legal restrictions on his actions. Among the laws Bush has challenged are a torture ban, oversight provisions in the USA Patriot Act, restrictions against using US soldiers to fight Colombian rebels, whistleblower protections for executive branch employees, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded scientific research.

Remind President Bush that all Americans must abide by the Constitution

Let's use this Constitution Day, September 17th, to remind President Bush that all Americans must abide by the Constitution

With appreciation,

Michael Lawley,
Care2 and The Petition Site Ream

And there is a lot more at the Petition Site.



Registered Member
I didn't ask you to sign the petition. In fact it's one I haven't submitted myself. It's certainly worthy of a discussion though, now isn't it. I know that it may offend your right wing sensibilities, but that's really not a huge concern of mine.

I have a couple problems with the petition.

First off it gives no real example of the "Signing Statements" as used by President Bush. It provides the example of the "Torture Ban," however the signing agreement could be accessed and shown. I'd be interested to see what this "signing statement" really says.

Personally I think it's amusing that President Bush is now being condemned for doing something intelligent. An open veto of any law passed by congress would destroy his reputationg with this country, and other countries. Most presidential vetoes are line-item vetoes, in other words the President doesn't agree with a line or two of the bill, and sends it back down to be reworded and corrected.

However, no one can refute that if Bush disagreed with just a line or two of the torture ban and vetoed it, every single person in America and all over the country would see it as Bush's recognition that he wants torture to continue. It would cause an uproar and would kill him politically, and this country politically. The use of a signing statement is under the radar of most countries, and lets the congress know that a line or two of the bill is incorrect or what not. It is not open defiance of congress, besides checks and balances is not lost.

The congress can still pass the bill into law with 2/3rd votes, if the president refuses to follow the rules delegated by congress (and congress rejects the signing statement) then the president can still be impeached. Notice no signing statements have been rejected. You can argue that it's because Congress is largely Republican, however, if the president was doing such horrilbe things and virtually saying "Screw you I'm going to torture people" the very Republicans that voted for the ban in the first place would go into action.

It's not that checks and balances is being destroyed, it's simply that it's not being used by congress. Don't blame the president for congressional action (or lack there of).