Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Lawyers With Consciences ~Doing The Right Thing

Well, it's about damned time!

Finally, some lawyers with respect for the law & the principle of separation of powers, among other vital legal cornerstones of a functional democracy. Demon Princess has cause to believe that some advocates are in their right minds after all.

She's referring, of course, to the American Bar Association's scathingly critical examination of the cynical practice of the Executive (any Executive) trying to do an end run around Congress by approving legislation & then quietly issuing "signing statements" eviscerating it & basically refusing to enforce it--on such minor matters as, oh, say, a ban on torture.

The Bush Administration has taken the practice to new heights, issuing more signing statements than all other Administrations combined. A veto, of course, is the proper way for an Executive to express his disagreement with legislation--but here, as with everything else we've seen about the way this Administration conducts business, is a blatant atttempt to foist upon us a "new" legal theory of the "unitary executive," which is a direct result of Cheney's stint in the Ford Administration.

You remember Ford, successor to Nixon. Nixon resigned in disgrace so he wouldn't have to suffer the indignity of impeachment, the same whose paranoia & spying & dirty political trix caused Congress to enact laws designed specifially to assure it never happens again--the very same FISA that Bush has ignored, as it happens. Cheney has unabashedly been carrying a chip on his shoulder ever since & has made it his mission to "restore" power to the Presidency--some of us think at the expense of democracy itself.

The ABA report, which is rather extraordinary in that (as far as I know) the penultimate national lawyers' association of lawyers' associations, while critical of Bush with respect to other matters, has never before taken upon itself to insert itself into the public political debate on such a scale, & to issue such a clear call for Congress, & the courts, to do something about it.

For instance, this: "A president could easily contrive a constitutional excuse to decline enforcement of any law he deplored, and transform his qualified veto into a monarch-like absolute veto." A bipartisan panel reached a unanimous conclusion that "President Bush should stop issuing statements claiming the power to bypass parts of laws he has signed..."

The ABA is concerned that the signing statements may be unconstitutional, & one recommendation is that Congress sue Bush over their use, & have a court adjudicate the matter. (And, of course, the right-wingers are already busy formulating legal rationales to justify their constitutionality.)

Read the comprehensive Washington Post article (title bar) for more.

Following on that revelation, Arlen Specter proposes to take action. Let's hope that whatever he proposes this time actually has some teeth.


Anonymous Dusty said...

Let me tell ya what Arlen did..he has written a bill that will remove any oversight of the President's wiretapping abilities by either the judicial branch or congress..

Specter must be off his meds, at least with respect to government spying on we, the people.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Demon Princess said...

Sold out the store on that one.

10:27 PM  

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