Jul 25 2006

Specter Heading For Another Constitutional Failure

Published by at 8:28 am under All General Discussions

One thing that makes me laugh at DC is all their bluster and feigned outrage when some powerful people don’t get their way. They descend to temper tamper, hand pounding, whining so fast it is a sight to see. The all-about-nothing issue of Bush’s signing statements are the same way. Congress has known from day one that they cannot force the administration to take action is is against. And that is constitutional (as I will show in a bit with an excerpt from the NY Times, no less). What Congress has never been able to deal with, and why the Federal Government is so dysfunctional on so many issues, is the idea of innovation and responsibility. Congress likes to micro-manage and pretend they are the true administrators. That is why they craft all these bills removing decision space from people charged with making decisions. That is why the military ends up with weapon systems it doesn’t want or need.

So Bush has been ‘changing the tone’ in DC by not abiding by every little dictat from the Poobah’s in Congress, and now Arlen Specter is going to sue the administration for being a co-equal (and probably more intelligent) branch of government.

‘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, R-Pa., 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 either 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.

Emphasis mine. What a signing statement does is simply capture the President’s reasoning for the action he takes, whether that includes doing nothing or something. In both cases the President can ignore Congress (and some days I wish he would ignore them a lot more). And every piece of legislation is interpreted and translated into processes, procedures, requirements, designs, guidelines, legal conditions, etc. So the fact is Specter is again trying to win a lost cause. Congress should be happy anything they say is taken seriously when most of their time is spent coming up with sound bite sized platitudes and following polls to make their decisions.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Specter Heading For Another Constitutional Failure”

  1. carol johnson says:

    Boy, is this getting OLD! Specter, go find a nice quiet corner and pout in it, why don’t you? Leave the checks and balances to the grown-ups…wherever they are and its certainly NOT in Congress these days.


  2. kathie says:

    Thank you AJ-Kathie

  3. MerlinOS2 says:

    Why am I having visions of a guy named Nakita pounding his shoe on a podium at the UN?