Obama to limit his use of signing statements

The President recently stated that:

In recent years, there has been considerable public discussion and criticism of the use of signing statements to raise constitutional objections to statutory provisions. There is no doubt that the practice of issuing such statements can be abused. Constitutional signing statements should not be used to suggest that the President will disregard statutory requirements on the basis of policy disagreements. At the same time, such signing statements serve a legitimate function in our system, at least when based on well-founded constitutional objections. In appropriately limited circumstances, they represent an exercise of the President's constitutional obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and they promote a healthy dialogue between the executive branch and the Congress.

While President Obama should be congratulated for choosing to bind his office in this regard, the fact that this was his political choice only served to undermine the effectiveness of his gesture, as critics made clear. The best strategy available to limit the abuse of Presidential signing statements is to impeach the President who misuses this power. Congress, to the country and the world's great misfortune, failed to take this path during the George W. Bush's tenure. This egregious failure established as a historical fact that Congress might tolerate such abuses in the future along with the fact that only the President can act to limit his or her use of this power. Despite if not because of Obama's policy, an expanded use of these signing statements thus remains a feature of the President's powers. In other words, there is nothing in this self-binding act which deters President Obama from undoing his position. Nor does Obama's choice hinder any future President if he or she chooses to abuse this power. His Memo only reaffirms this Presidential power!

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