I don’t know why this isn’t an impeachable offense, and a violation of the oath of office. We have an entire branch of government to decide on the constitutionality of the laws – and it ain’t the executive branch.
My impression is that he has defied the law, in the instance that I’m recollecting by refusing to provide Congress with information, as provided for in the law. (I don’t have the cite handy, but will look for it later). Besides, I’m not sure what the point would be of issuing a signing statement and then going ahead and following the law anyway.
Actually, it kind of is. All three branches should be concerned about the constitutionality of laws. If the president believes part of a law is unconstitutional, then he should veto the law. The entire law. Another option would be to sign the law, but immediately send things to the court (I’m not sure how he’d do this without breaking the law first, but there could be a way, at the very least he could create a test case with a small, public, infraction). He has options availiable to him.
What the president cannot do is simply refuse to obey a law.
No cite, but I recall from a Con Law class that George Washington once sent a proposed treaty to the Supreme Court for an advisory opinion on its constitutionality. He was rebuffed – they told him, in effect, we don’t do that; as a court of law, we can only decide constitutional/legal questions when ruling on actual cases-in-controversy before the court.
I forget - regarding invasion of a foreign country based on false pretenses - is that a high crime or is that a misdemeanor? Is it worse if you make the call to do so with an intern under your desk - or does that matter?
“Democratic presidents have issued signing statements - indicating questions or disagreement with some portion of legislation, (possibly in line with Supreme Court judgements)”
“Democratic presidents have issued signing statements broadly at odds with legislation, such as rejecting Congressional authority to issue laws explicitly denying the president permission to send troops into combat in specified countries with which we are not at war”
So…what? He wrote that in order to claim that he’d do the exact thing he swore in his oath of office to do? I think Bush is an idiot, so I at least have some way of explaining a thing like that, but how do you explain it?
More generally: if the president’s prerogative powers as defined in article 2 always take precedence over laws passed by Congress, how can Congress limit the president’s power? Is there any way? If not, what checks the president’s authority?
“I’ll do whatever I want until the Supreme Court tells me otherwise. Then, and only then, I might, maybe, if I’m feeling like a uniter and not a divider, I’ll stop on my own accord, but only because I want to.”
Oh, and to add more than a drive by, but well deserved, potshot at our President, I’ll add some interesting articles prepared by the Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel (in prior years, so it may not reflect the views of the current administration).