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« The Unbearable Lightness of Friedman | Main | Benefits of an Obama Administration: Part II »

November 09, 2008


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I don't know about the wisdom of undoing the signing statements. My view is they have no force or validity, and to withdraw those would legitimize them. Better to ignore them. If someone is going to rely on them in court, they're also going to argue that a later president can't "undo" a former president's restriction on the legislation.

Have to disagree. If the statements are left they can be used to set precedents if not contradicted. Each has to be quashed.

Another thing Bush has fucked up: Now we have this hall of mirrors where signing statements are not law, but we don't want them around, but don't know what effect rescission would have. Jesus.

I doubt the court would find them binding in any way. It's pretty basic law that you start with the language of the statute, and only move on to legislative history if the language is not clear. Signing statements couldn't be any more than legislative history (less, actually). If there was a decision giving them weight, they could all be squashed at that point, though again, I don't see how you can undo them. A later Congress can't undo the legislative history of a prior Congress. The fix would have to be to re-enact the laws in question with the new president signing them as is, and for Congress to write some sort of nonseverability provision into each law thereafter.

His pen should be sure and swift on all four provisions mentioned, and others as well

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