Obama to Limit Signing Statements

Good news from the White House: Not only is President Obama reviewing all of Bush’s signing statements, he’s also vowing to rarely employ them himself. If we’re very lucky, that means he’s bringing us back to a pre-Nixon interpretation of the president’s latitude on that subject.

Now about that state secrets privilege…

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6 Responses

  1. A fairly meaningless promise on Obama’s part – he’s unlikely to be at odds with his Liberal Congress any time soon and won’t be feeling the need to limit their actions with signing statements.

  2. The principle is far from meaningless! It returns the executive branch to the rule of law on this issue, instead of rule by personal fiat.

  3. Very true – or it would or will be, if it’s ever tested; until then, it’s just empty words.

    Understand please that I like what Obama has said on this singular issue. I just think it’s a fatuous statement coming from Obama since there’s little chance that he’s going to be in a position of disagreement with a Liberal Congress.

  4. Meaningless? Empty words? The point is, it re-establishes a principle that will stand with this and future administrations. That means we get to be a democracy again; that’s important!

  5. I disagree. It only re-establishes the principle of Separation of Powers if Obama actually does it. If he doesn’t – especially after all the other things he has said and then failed to do – then it is – IMHO – just nice sounding words.

    Remember, Bush claimed he was going to be a “uniter,” a great set of words that re-established a principle of less partisan politics and putting the People before party. What happened there?

    Words are cheap; deeds are what matters.

  6. jonolan, two things:
    1.) These public pledges do matter, because Obama is risking media backlash if he violates them. He knows that when he makes them, and I don’t think he would do so unless he was fairly committed to keeping them.

    2.) So far, Obama has kept nearly all of his campaign promises. Say what you will about most of what he’s done, but the moves that conservatives are most unhappy about are the ones he’d been talking about on the campaign trail for months. There’s nothing in what he’s done so far to suggest that he’s in the habit of making frivolous promises.

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