The WaPo gets it right again

The WaPo's done exceptional editorializing on the subject of executive authority and its growing control of our republic. The latest entry is this column from Froomkin, and addresses the growing furor over Presidential signing statements.

A blistering report out today from a blue-ribbon legal panel dramatically establishes how President Bush's use of signing statements to assert his right to ignore legislation passed by Congress undermines the rule of law and the constitutional system of separation of powers.

The report, from an American Bar Association task force, goes a long way toward establishing the parameters for what could be a ferocious and consequential debate -- or an unparalleled acquiescence to an executive-branch power grab.

The Constitution does not envision the poorly defined role President Bush has ascribed to himself in regards to these signing statements. The President cannot make law - he can only sign, veto, or do nothing with a bill, thereby using his pocket veto. Instead, he's taken to signing laws that he doesn't agree with by adding statements of his own intent to the law. In this way, he is acting as a part of the legislature, amending the end product of the law and how it is executed. This is an assault on the separation of powers doctrine, since he is arrogating unto himself an equal power to that of the legislature.

Once again, as with the NSA spying program and its various defenses, the Bush Administration is making war on our Republic.

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