Above the Law

The Boston Globe reported on Sunday that throughout his presidency, George W. Bush has determined that hundreds of laws simply don’t apply to him.

President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.

Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ”whistle-blower” protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.

Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush’s assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government.

It must be good to be the king.

Read the full story: Bush challenges hundreds of laws

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4 Responses to Above the Law

  1. StealthKD says:

    Power in times of crisis breeds a horrifying creativity. To my thinking, signing statements are especially dangerous because they are so remarkably mundane. Other than an intrepid political scientist (the Globe borrowed in large measure from a professor at Miami University in Ohio), who would pay attention to these sorts of things? By the way, the same Globe report has an attached graphic that puts Bush’s number of signing statements in the context of his father’s and Clinton’s. He leaves them in the dust. Here’s the link: http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2006/04/30/statutes_challenged

  2. Wow. Thanks for that link, Kevin StealthKD. I wonder why more people aren’t freaked out by this. Then again, the remaining 32% of Americans who still approve of the way Bush is handling things seem just as deluded—and vocal—as ever.

  3. Aunt Ginny says:

    I think there are quite a few of us who just can’t stand Dubya and refuse to pay any attention to him or anything he’s doing because we can’t change it anyway – we’re just waiting for his time to be up. Nothing surprises me about this administration.
    Shame on us- we should all be walking in front of federal buildings across the land with placards. Still might not do any good, but at least we could say we did something.

  4. StealthKD says:

    Here’s a link to an academic paper on the use of signing statements: http://www.users.muohio.edu/kelleycs/paper.pdf
    Cheers

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