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America First Party
1630 A 30th Street #111
Boulder, Colorado 80301

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Presidential Signing Statements Often Show Hypocrisy and Warrant Impeachment

Boulder, CO -- According to the GAO's recent report, presidential signing statements singled out 160 provisions of fiscal year 2006 appropriations acts, and some requested that administration agencies disobey provisions of newly signed laws. At least 6 of the President's statements explicitly declared aspects of legislation to be unconstitutional, based on Supreme Court precedent. The America First Party decries the improper use of signing statements, which can not legally be used as a line-item veto. When signing statements describe the president's reservations about the constitutionality of legislation, they really serve the purpose of documenting his abrogation of constitutional duty.

It is not in doubt that congress can and has proposed legislation which a chief executive may rightly object to on constitutional grounds. The president has the veto power for situations like this. If after mature reflection and consultation, a president can not resolve his doubts about the constitutionality of proposed legislation, his only responsible choice is to veto. His solemn obligation under his oath of office requires this. Signing such legislation and then immediately issuing a prepared statement questioning its constitutionality indicates a disgraceful contempt for the constitution and therefore warrants impeachment.

The well-known text "General Principles of Constitutional Law," by former State Supreme Court Justice Cooley, states: "The executive can have no authority to pass upon the validity of either legislative or judicial action. His judgment ... may be expressed in his veto, but if this is overruled the Executive is as much bound as is any private citizen."

AFP National Chairman Jonathan Hill stated: "Such presidential statements have the appearance of respectability under the mantel of concern for constitutional principle. A more likely motive is a desire to limit friction with congress in order to avoid retaliation that would jeopardize spending provisions supportive of the President's policies."

The America First Party Platform states that "The President has no authority to modify a law passed by Congress by means of a Signing Statement ... his prerogative is to veto such laws as he disagrees with, and follow the requirements imposed by them should his veto be overridden."

Jonathan Hill, National Chairman, 1-866-SOS-USA1, ext. 4
John Schweingrouber, Press Secretary, 1-866-SOS-USA1, ext. 2


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