After signing two bills into law this week, President Bush said that he could bypass numerous parts of the laws. In a signing statement Bush said a military authorization act and a measure giving inspectors general greater independence from the White House unlawfully constrained the president's constitutional powers.
So which parts will Bush ignore?
- A section forbidding money from being used "to exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq."
- A section requiring negotiations for an agreement by which Iraq would share some of the costs of the American military operation.
- Two sections strengthening legal protections against political interference with internal watchdog officials at executive agencies.
The past 42 presidents have issued 600 signing statements combined while Bush himself has put out 1,100. Legal scholars assert that Bush's disobedience contradicts the rule of law, and the separations of power between Congress and the president. Do you think the next president will follow Bush's signing statements, or go even further by following his example of issuing many more signing statements?