AP formally accuses Bush of ignoring laws he signs

Published: Tuesday June 27, 2006

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In a strongly worded headline that has appeared across a variety of news websites, the Associated Press has formally accused President Bush of ignoring laws he signs.

The AP headline at ABC News? "Bush Ignores Laws He Inks, Vexing Congress." At AOL? "Bush Ignores Laws He Signs, Vexing Congress." And Yahoo? "Bush ignores laws he inks, vexing Congress."

Republican Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) is hounding the Administration on what he believes is an excessive interpretation of presidential powers. Excerpts follow; full story here.


A law is not binding when a president issues a separate statement saying he reserves the right to revise, interpret or disregard it on national security and constitutional grounds. That's the argument a Bush administration official is expected to make Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who has demanded a hearing on a practice he considers an example of the administration's abuse of power.

"It's a challenge to the plain language of the Constitution," Specter said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I'm interested to hear from the administration just what research they've done to lead them to the conclusion that they can cherry-pick."

Apparently, enough to challenge many more statutes passed by Congress than any other president, Specter's committee says. The White House does not dispute that, but notes that Bush is hardly the first chief executive to issue them.

"Signing statements have long been issued by presidents, dating back to Andrew Jackson all the way through President Clinton," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Monday.