I guess Arlen Specter is getting tired of looking like a chump. The Judiciary Committee Chairman said today that he's prepared to sue the Administration over its use of "signing statements" that the President has used to exempt himself from the laws of the land. To regular Joes like me, that sounds like it flies in the face of our Constitution and the foundation of our democracy that NO man is above the law. An American Bar Association task force agreed with me yesterday.
The task force said the President has overstepped his authority in attaching challenges to hundreds of new laws. The ABA's president, Michael Greco, made no bones about the importance to our system of government that even the President be bound by our laws.
"If left unchecked, the president's practice does grave harm to the separation of powers doctrine, and the system of checks and balances that have sustained our democracy for more than two centuries," said Greco.
According to USA Today, 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.
"That non-veto hamstrings Congress because Congress cannot respond to a signing statement," said Greco.
Spector plans to introduce a bill allowing Congress to sue the President in Federal court and, "authorize the Congress to undertake judicial review of those signing statements with the view to having the president's acts declared unconstitutional."
Yeah, good luck with that...