It's interesting how the U.S. criticizes Russian President Putin for putting too much power in the Presidency, yet the Bush administration has been doing the very same thing over the past several years.
With the use of "Signing Statements", Bush has been allowed to shift the delicate balance of power in favor of the Executive branch... deciding which laws are illegitimate and which laws will be followed by his administration. These moves appear to be well calculated and designed to get around the judgements and requirements of the Judicial Branch and to weaken the oversight powers of the U.S. Congress.
The issue has motivated legal professionals to come forward and speak out against this policy. Listen below to a radio discussion where the President of the American Bar Association speaks out against this practice... THE PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION is sounding the alarm on this. This is somewhat unusual, since the leadership of such an organization would usually write a column, or find a more subtle way of sharing their views....(they usually don't weigh in at all on such matters) which indicates the seriousness of this situation.
Listen to Discussion Here.
Article From the Kansas City Star
WASHINGTON - A Republican who has led the fight against President Bush’s signing statements said Monday that he would soon have a bill ready allowing Congress to sue the president.
“We will submit legislation to the United States Senate which will … authorize the Congress to undertake judicial review of those signing statements with the view to having the president’s acts declared unconstitutional,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, said on the Senate floor.
Specter’s announcement came the same day that an American Bar Association task force concluded that by attaching conditions to legislation, the president has sidestepped his constitutional duty to sign a bill, veto it or take no action.
Bush has issued at least 750 signing statements during his presidency, reserving the right to revise, interpret or disregard laws on national security and constitutional grounds.
Additional Reports from NPR.
More On Sen. Arlen Spectors efforts to challenge Bush on this issue.
Why the Bar Association would rather see Bush use vetoes, rather than Signing Statements weakening laws.