Sunday, June 24, 2007

Just Say No

President Bush enacted only the third veto of his administration, against the same sort of legislation that he used his first veto against, broadening public funding of stem cell research.

Perhaps the reason why we have seen so few vetoes out of the President is that he's found an effective way around congressional actions that he doesn't approve of, through the widespread (and somewhat under the radar) use of signing statements. But it seems that signing statements are used by the President mainly to signal that he doesn't plan to enforce laws that he considers in violation of his prerogatives as President. Of course, unlike a veto, a signing statement doesn't give Congress another crack at things, through an attempt to override, and by not directly challenging the law directly, there's no avenue for the courts to become involved, and possibly disagree with the President's interpretation of the Constitution.

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