Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Constitutional crisis

The Boston Globe has done a great service by following up on the signing
statement issue that the public first became aware of last December. It
is a must read - and one that everyone should make five or more copies
and distribute to others to read - and ask those who read it to do the same.

It seems that bush has delivered 750 signing statements in his five
years and four months that he has held office. That is a rate of about
.4 per day. Get it? The rate at which this is happening is MORE than 1
signing statement (going around the constitution) every 3 days.

What is the big deal, you ask? There are several issues at hand, and the
implications are disturbing.

1) The Constitution sets up three branches of government - and a balance
between those branches to prevent a monarchy sort of system from
developing. There is a directly elected branch which (in theory)
represents the will of the electorate legislatively. Congress is given
the authority to create laws, and to hold the purse-strings. There is a
judicial branch that can review the laws to provide oversight of the
laws in terms of following the Constitution. And there is an executive
branch that administers the laws and carries out the functions of
government, that also appoints members of the judiciary (pending
senatorial approval), and that can VETO acts/laws from the legislative
branch - only then allowing the law to become law if a super-majority of
the representatives of the people (congress) vote to override the veto.

The reliance on the signing statement subverts the constitution by
disallowing the representatives of the people from creating/passing law
- and due to its secretive nature (these are most often created after
the law has been signed by the president and are not seen/known by the
press or members of congress) there is no way for the congress to assert
its Constitutional right/duty to override the president's veto - because
there is no veto. Thus at a rate of one time every three days, President
Bush has denied the peoples' voice via its elected representatives. And
done so in secret.

more here


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