Presidential Signing Statements, and Alito's Role in Them, Are QuestionedBreaking News
The new twist, as Edwin Meese III, then the attorney general, explained in a Feb. 25, 1986, speech, was to urge courts to look to the president's signing statement for evidence of "what that statute really means." Earlier presidential signing statements were, by contrast, bland proclamations, instructions to subordinates about how to execute a new law or a statement of disagreement with a part of a law.
The Supreme Court has not addressed the question of whether and how the courts should make use of interpretive signing statements, and references to the issue in the lower courts are sparse.
In one 1989 decision, the federal appeals court in New York took account of a statement signed by President Ronald Reagan in connection with a sentencing law because "the executive branch participated in the negotiation of the compromise legislation."
Other courts have said or suggested that presidential statements, as one of them put it, "lack persuasive authority."
A 1987 article in The Harvard Journal on Legislation, by Marc N. Garber and Kurt A. Wimmer, examined the constitutionality of the Reagan administration's signing statements.
"The United States courts must," it concluded, "in order to quiet the boundaries of power, unequivocally reject as constitutionally unreliable any presidential signing statements offered as evidence of Congressional intent. Any lesser action will result in a realignment of authority under the Constitution, with dangerous concentration of uncheckable power in the hands of the executive."
comments powered by Disqus
- Artist Corrects Inaccuracies At The George W. Bush Library With Augmented Reality
- “Unprecedented” discovery of mysterious structures created by Neanderthals
- This Man Spent 25 Years Documenting Every Day of Hitler's Life
- Anti-Gay, Pro-Creationism Birther Won’t Be Deciding What Textbooks Your Kids Read
- What About Us, Nagasaki Asks, as Obama’s Hiroshima Trip Nears
- Jean Edward Smith, biographer of FDR and Ike, has a new biography coming out … of George W. Bush
- Flora Fraser, biographer of George and Martha Washington, wins $50,000 George Washington Prize
- Michael Cohen explains why he calls his book on 1968 “American Malestrom"
- Fredrik Logevall on Obama's Legacy