There have been significant developments on the signing statements debate, although I’m unfortunately not in a position to blog them at the moment (I’m on Cape Cod, and my wife, who is preparing for trial upcoming shortly, has a superior claim on the laptop).
As recounted in a Charlie Savage article this morning (which I can’t link to right now because of a balky computer, but it’s on page A18 of the print edition), President Obama’s use of signing statements has drawn fire from Members of Congress in his own party. In a July 21 letter, Representatives Barney Frank and David Obey, the Chairmen of the House Financial Services Committee and Appropriations Committee, respectively, sent a letter to the President asking him to stop issuing such signing statements and warning Congress might cut off certain funding if he did not do so. On July 9, the House voted overwhelmingly to prohibit officials from using federal money if they disregarded certain negotiation instructions included in a law that was the subject of an Obama signing statement. Savage also quotes now-former ABA President H. Thomas Wells, who stated: “We didn’t think it was an appopriate practice when President Bush was doing it, and our policy is such that we don’t think it is an appropriate practice when President Obama is doing it.” While I disagree with their views on signing statements, I am heartened that they are applying their views consistently. When I get some more quality time with the computer, I’ll try to add links.
In other news, for the 1.5 people who have noticed my absence recently, I have been busy writing a forthcoming article for the Green Bag. I finished it Friday, so, my wife’s trial schedule permitting, I will be back blogging on my regular (leisurely) schedule.