Digby of Hullaballoo has an important post on President Bush’s use of “signing statements” to signal to Congress that he has no intention of following the actual laws that are passed in the legislature. Here’s a Knight-Ridder story on the subject:
In fact, Bush has used signing statements to reject, revise or put his spin on more than 500 legislative provisions. Experts say he has been far more aggressive than any previous president in using the statements to claim sweeping executive power – and not just on national security issues. […]
Signing statements don’t have the force of law, but they can influence judicial interpretations of a statute. They also send a powerful signal to executive branch agencies on how the White House wants them to implement new federal laws.
In some cases, Bush bluntly informs Congress that he has no intention of carrying out provisions that he considers an unconstitutional encroachment on his authority.
Are there any Republicans in Congress who actually care that the president considers them more or less irrelevant whenever he feels like? It doesn’t seem so.