March 10, 2009
Obama on Presidential Signing Statements
From the memorandum:
I shall adhere to the following principles:
- The executive branch will take appropriate and timely steps, whenever practicable, to inform the Congress of its constitutional concerns about pending legislation. Such communication should facilitate the efforts of the executive branch and the Congress to work together to address these concerns during the legislative process, thus minimizing the number of occasions on which I am presented with an enrolled bill that may require a signing statement.
- Because legislation enacted by the Congress comes with a presumption of constitutionality, I will strive to avoid the conclusion that any part of an enrolled bill is unconstitutional. In exercising my responsibility to determine whether a provision of an enrolled bill is unconstitutional, I will act with caution and restraint, based only on interpretations of the Constitution that are well-founded.
- To promote transparency and accountability, I will ensure that signing statements identify my constitutional concerns about a statutory provision with sufficient specificity to make clear the nature and basis of the constitutional objection.
- I will announce in signing statements that I will construe a statutory provision in a manner that avoids a constitutional problem only if that construction is a legitimate one.
For more, see Steven Schwinn's (John Marshall Law School, Chicago) post on Constitutional Law Prof Blog. [JH]
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The president should be the first to follow the constitution. Once his signature is affixed on a statement, Obama becomes liable of the contents and consequences of such statements. Thus, he must be cautious in signing statements and follow certain protocols.
Posted by: BloggerPal | Mar 10, 2009 8:44:08 PM