Friday, March 9, 2007

The Problem With Signing Statements

From Glenn Greenwald:

"That the FBI is abusing its NSL power is entirely unsurprising (more on that below), but the real story here -- and it is quite significant -- has not even been mentioned by any of these news reports. The only person (that I've seen) to have noted the most significant aspect of these revelations is Silent Patriot at Crooks & Liars, who very astutely recalls that the NSL reporting requirements imposed by Congress were precisely the provisions which President Bush expressly proclaimed he could ignore when he issued a "signing statement" as part of the enactment of the Patriot Act's renewal into law. Put another way, the law which the FBI has now been found to be violating is the very law which George Bush publicly declared he has the power to ignore."

Just a Constitutional reminder:

Congress writes laws
The Executive Branch enforces laws
The Courts provide an unbiased place to hash it all out.

If the Executive Branch uses a signing statement to pick and choose what laws it will enforce, then, in what sense is the Executive Branch accountable to the people?

Last I checked we do not elect a king every four years.

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