Monday, January 16, 2006

The Signing Statement Scam

Every so often you run into a Republican who is in favor of smaller government (as opposed to a Republican who likes slamming into Democrats in a framework of pretending to care about smaller government). Those Republicans who really do favor smaller government are frustrated that with a Republican President, Republican Congress and Republican Judiciary, they still don't have the desire to actually cut government spending and power.

Rather they seem to be interested in increasing it, which brings us to today's article. Paul Jacob's latest article covers President Bush's recent and notorious signing statement, attached to the torture ban.
Take a current news story, much blogged. The president recently signed the torture ban. But he did so with his fingers crossed. That is, he added a "signing statement" to the bill, explaining how he interpreted the new law: Quite broadly, in the context of his own expansive theory of presidential power.

Like other such statements, this wasn't a Post-It note scribble, but a cleverly written legal document designed to influence enforcement as well as future legal interpretation.
Anyway the article is interesting, and worth reading. Jacob isn't any liberal - he would favor several un-democratic methods to limit the power of government.

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