Habeus is Corpus V1
posted by The Vidiot @ 2:52 PM Permalink
Bush Signings Called Effort to Expand Power
President Bush's frequent use of signing statements to assert that he has the power to disobey newly enacted laws is "an integral part" of his "comprehensive strategy to strengthen and expand executive power" at the expense of the legislative branch, according to a report by the non partisan Congressional Research Service.
Under most interpretations of the Constitution, the report said, some of the legal assertions in Bush's signing statements are dubious. [ED: classic understatement] For example, it said, the administration has suggested repeatedly that the president has exclusive authority over foreign affairs and has an absolute right to withhold information from Congress. Such assertions are "generally unsupported by established legal principles," the report said.
Despite such criticism, the administration has continued to issue signing statements for new laws. Last week, for example, Bush signed the 2007 military budget bill, but then issued a statement challenging 16 of its provisions.
The bill bars the Pentagon from using any intelligence that was collected illegally, including information about Americans that was gathered in violation of the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable government surveillance.
Bush also challenged three sections that require the Pentagon to notify Congress before diverting funds to new purposes, including top-secret activities or programs. Congress had already decided against funding. Bush said he was not bound to obey such statutes if he decided, as commander in chief, that withholding such information from Congress was necessary to protect security secrets.
Bush has used signing statements to challenge more than 800 laws that place limits or requirements on the executive branch, saying they intrude on his constitutional powers. By contrast, all previous presidents challenged a combined total of about 600 laws.