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Pelosi May Sue Over Signing Statements

While it remains to be seen how this may pan out should it become necessary, I thought it best to bring this to everyone's attention seeing as how I have been banging on this drum for some time now.

From The Hill:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is threatening to take President Bush to court if he issues a signing statement as a way of sidestepping a carefully crafted compromise Iraq war spending bill.

Pelosi recently told a group of liberal bloggers, “We can take the president to court” if he issues a signing statement, according to Kid Oakland, a blogger who covered Pelosi’s remarks for the liberal website dailykos.com.

“The president has made excessive use of signing statements and Congress is considering ways to respond to this executive-branch overreaching,” a spokesman for Pelosi, Nadeam Elshami, said. “Whether through the oversight or appropriations process or by enacting new legislation, the Democratic Congress will challenge the president’s non-enforcement of the laws.”

It is a scenario for which few lawmakers have planned. Indicating that he may consider attaching a signing statement to a future supplemental spending measure, Bush last week wrote in his veto message, “This legislation is unconstitutional because it purports to direct the conduct of operations of the war in a way that infringes upon the powers vested in the presidency.”

And these signing statements purport to infringe upon powers vested in Congress, so what's your point?

It's heartening to see the Democrats taking this issue seriously. And while I hope this issue can be settled without the need to involve the courts as it may delay sorely needed funds for troops in the field, if ever there were a case in which Congress had standing to sue the Executive, this would probably fit the bill (no pun intended). In my layman's understanding of the whole process, if Bush were to attach a signing statement to any compromised supplemental bill, wouldn't he be trouncing on not just one but two authorities afforded to Congress: the power to write the laws and determination of how appropriated funds are to be spent?

But as is to be expected, the wingnuts see this as another instance of Congressional overreach. Yet never is any attention ever paid to the fact that Congress would not have to go to such lengths to get the President to follow the law were it not over his own encroachments.

Blog Thanks: Who knew this rather mundane piece would be so popular. Not only did the SotD version of this post get picked up on Salon's Blog Report, Shakesville and The Heretik but co-blogger Creature tells me it got a few hits from the House.gov ISP. Nice to see I'm not the only one paying attention.

(Filed at State of the Day)

Nice to see Pelosi thinking about challenging this in the court system. It's one of my 'hot-button topics' as well.

Nice indeed, Kvatch.

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