Presidential Signing Statements

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When President Bush doesn't like a law passed by the Congress of the United States, he doesn't veto it. He just states that he won't follow it. Except for one veto, last week's stem cell research bill, this president's preferred path is the so-called "signing statement." He takes a law, and essentially picks and chooses what he will enforce and obey. And not just a little.

In six years in office, George W. Bush has challenged some 800 newly-minted laws — more than all previous presidents in American history combined. He wasn't the first to do it.

The White House says he has good reason. A new report from the American Bar Association says this is unconstitutional, against the rule of law, the edge of a crisis.

Hear a conversation with the president of the ABA on presidential power and the Bush White House.


Sheryl Gay Stolberg, White House correspondent for the New York Times

Mike Greco, President of the American Bar Association

Michelle Boardman, Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice

Bruce Fein, constitutional lawyer and international consultant with Bruce Fein & Associates and a deputy attorney general in the Reagan administration

This program aired on July 26, 2006.


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