Eviscerating the Law Bush's Misuse of Signing Statements

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 10, 2006 | Go to article overview

Eviscerating the Law Bush's Misuse of Signing Statements


Byline: Nat Hentoff, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

This president has made it clear that his signing a law passed by Congress does not necessarily mean that he will enforce it. In the unprecedented number of "signing statements" he has attached to new statutes before sending them to the Federal Register, President Bush dismisses those laws he believes erode his ever-expanding view of his powers.

This particular expansion of presidential powers overriding the intent and powers of Congress is, says the American Bar Association, "of great consequence to our constitutional system of government and its delicate system of checks and balances and separation of powers." Agreeing, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has held a hearing on "signing statements." The ABA decided to call public attention to these unilateral disruptions of our rule of law because of the extraordinarily diligent research on Mr. Bush's signing statements by one reporter, Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe evidence that a lone journalist can rise above the quicksand of the 24-hour news cycle and make a significant difference.

In one of his probes, Mr. Savage revealed that Vice President Dick Cheney and his chief of staff, David Addington, are Mr. Bush's chief architects for these wholesale expansions of presidential powers.

Mr. Savage notes, "The Bush-Cheney administration has used such [signing] statements to claim for itself the option of bypassing a ban on torture [the McCain amendment]; oversight provisions in the revision of the Patriot Act and numerous requirements that [the administration] provide certain information to Congress." Also, "In October 2004, five months after the Abu Ghraib torture scandal in Iraq came to light, Congress passed a series of new rules and regulations for military prisons. Bush signed the provisions into law, then said he could ignore them all."

What especially stuns me: "One provision made clear that military lawyers can give their commanders independent advice on .. what would constitute torture. But Mr. Bush declared that military lawyers could not contradict his administration's lawyers." These are the Bush lawyers in the Justice and Defense departments who have so badly advised the president on such issues as torture since 2002 as to alarm our allies and cheer our enemies who use these lawyers' definitions of permissible torture as ways to recruit jihadists. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Eviscerating the Law Bush's Misuse of Signing Statements
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.