Republicans: Unconstitutional Laws Are Okay

(Cross posted on

This is truly remarkable: now bills can become law without going through the constitutionally mandated process. Incredible! Don't republicans have any respect for anything that the constitution stands for? Are they so contemptuous of what our founding fathers fought for that, it seems, at every turn republicans wantonly disregard and trash the principles enshrined in our constitution? The truth is that, in spite of what they claim, of course republicans don't value nor respect the constitution, since it reminds them of everything that their party stands against. Habeas Corpus, who needs that? republicans ask. Privacy? Pluuuze, republicans respond. First Amendment? What's that!? Separation of church and state? Come on, that's so post Enlightenment, we don't need that. On and on republicans go on trashing the very core of our democracy.

And now we have the latest from the anti-constitution republicans: a bill no longer needs to pass the House for it to become law.

For anyone who took fifth-grade social studies or sang "I'm Just a Bill," how legislation turns to law always seemed pretty simple: The House passes a bill, the Senate passes the same bill, the president signs it.

"He signed ya, Bill -- now you're a law," shouts the cartoon lawmaker on "Schoolhouse Rock" as Bill acknowledges the cheers.

But last month, Washington threw all that old-fashioned civics stuff into a tizzy, when President Bush signed into law a bill that actually never passed the House. Bill -- in this case, a major budget-cutting measure that will affect millions of Americans -- became a law because it was "certified" by the leaders of the House and Senate. [Washington Post, Wednesday, March 22, 2006]

There's more...

Bloggers Shouting "Wake Up"

bumped - Matt

In Administration tells Congress (again) - We won't abide by your "laws", Glenn Greenwald lays it out:

The reality is that the Administration has been making clear for quite some time that they have unlimited power and that nothing -- not even the law -- can restrict it. ... As I have documented more times than I can count, we have a President who has seized unlimited power, including the power to break the law, and the Administration -- somewhat commendably -- is quite candid and straightforward about that fact.
I think this is the key line:

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Some Thoughts about Jesus, The Church, My Country, and The War

...I ask but one thing... that God bestow upon us the wisdom to realize that time may be short, and that if we are to reclaim our nation, we have no choice but to recognize our constitutional right, our responsibility, and most importantly our duty, to throw aside, even to abolish, any body politic that might threaten to destroy a government created of the people, by the people, and thank God, for every one of the people of our country, the United States of America....

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My favorite quote of the month!

On the Bible and the Constitution

On Wednesday, March 1st, 2006, in Annapolis at a hearing on the
proposed Constitutional Amendment to prohibit gay marriage, Jamie
Raskin, professor of law at AU, was requested to testify.

At the end of his testimony, Republican Senator Nancy Jacobs said:
"Mr. Raskin, my Bible says marriage is only between a man and a
woman. What do you have to say about that?"

Raskin replied: "Senator, when you took your oath of office, you
placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution.
You did not place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold
the Bible."

The room erupted into applause.

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Bush's "Signing Statement" - Unconstitutional?

In a previous post I mentioned that Bush, when signing the bill re-authorizing the Patriot Act, issued a so-called "signing statement" to the effect that he will ignore the oversight requirements.  Today, The Boston Globe has more on the story.

Bush signed the bill with fanfare at a White House ceremony March 9, calling it ''a piece of legislation that's vital to win the war on terror and to protect the American people." But after the reporters and guests had left, the White House quietly issued a ''signing statement," an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law.

In the statement, Bush said that he did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law's requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that disclosure would ''impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional duties."

It struck me at the time that this was a blatant overreach by the President, and I did not see how it could stand up to Constitutional scrutiny.  Apparently, I'm not the only one who thought so.

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