VETO-PROOF LEGISLATION OUTLAWING SIGNING STATEMENTS: THEY'LL STILL CHEAT

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) wrote the following:

Congress should pass legislation to require the administration to alert Congress when the law created by Justice Department opinions ignores or even violates the laws passed by Congress, and to require public notice when it is waiving or modifying a published executive order. Congress and the public shouldn't have to wonder whether the executive branch is following the laws that are on the books or some other, secret law.

Source: "Government in secret: The Yoo memo is just one example of Bush's hidden laws," by Russ Feingold. Los Angeles Times. May 8, 2008.

Well, Russ, just make sure it's veto proof and make sure it anticipates all the possible ways Bush's lawyers might conjure up as to how they would interpret it in opposition to legislative intent. You'll have to find out all the neocon objections in advance and take care of them all in the legislation. Actually, maybe you'll have to add to the legislation (veto proof) that no signing statement may accompany the legislation. Maybe you should just go for a law that outlaws all signing statements period.

Also, you're dreaming if you think you can have a law that requires the administration to alert Congress when the law created by Justice Department opinions ignores or even violates the laws passed by Congress. They just won't ever claim that their opinions either ignore or violate the law. They'll just interpret it away.

Just require them to make all Justice Department opinions immediately public: Of no effect anywhere in the government unless and until made public.

Wow, would they hate that idea since they wouldn't be able to hide evil behind "national security," as if national security is ever better off when the government does evil.

Well, the way around that would be to at least have to inform a full legislative committee set up to receive all such information and to route it to the appropriate committee. Then the people's representatives of all political parties could know without leaking so-called legitimate intelligence information concerning ostensible national security.

Make sure that the committee members would not be bound to keep secret any illegal actions of the administration. There could be a formal method of informing the administration as to what might be considered legal or illegal before a member were to go public with it. There could even be a way for the Supreme Court to hear such disputes in secret to decide matters of constitutionality.

It's all so hopeless, Russ. Think about it. Think about how convoluted it all is. Think about how it isn't possible to coerce righteousness. The evil-hearted will always cheat no matter how may laws you pass.

The house is inherently divided, Russ. It's coming down to be displaced by a new undivided house that will stand eternally.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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