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."
I've always wondered how these "signing statemnents" were Constitutional. Stating an official opinion on a law is one thing, but Bush has sought to simply ignore sections of laws passed by Congress that he disagrees with. And he simply doesn't have that option, unless he wants to use a veto.
The 10-member ABA panel includes at least three well-known conservatives or Republicans: former congressman Mickey Edwards (R-Okla.), former FBI director William S. Sessions and former Reagan Justice Department member Bruce Fein. It also includes former appellate judge Patricia M. Wald, former Stanford Law School dean Kathleen M. Sullivan and Harvard law professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr. The report will be considered by the full ABA at its meeting next month.
Note that it's not just us evil, subversive lefties saying so, either...
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