Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Candidate Obama on Signing Statements

My last post excused talk coming out of the Obama administration about using signing statements to circumvent duly enacted congressional restrictions on the administration of justice respecting Gitmo detainees.  I argued that there's a constitutional reason for not holding presidents to things they said about the scope of executive power when they were part of Congress. 

You might argue, however, that a different standard applies to presidential candidates aspiring to take their place at the head of the executive branch.  Take a look at what Obama was saying on the campaign trail about Bush’s signing statements and judge for yourself:

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Boy, was Obama a good campaigner. He spoke so convincingly against signing statements that I would be shocked if he ever used one. It would be akin to voting for something before voting against it.

Anonymous said...

I especially like the bit about O's having taught constitutional law for ten years, as if all the other presidents who issued signing statements didn't have access to lawyers with much better legal credentials.

Jake said...

As far as I know, Obama isn't being advised by his lawyers to defy congressional restrictions. He is just being advised to stake a claim to his constitutional turf for the record.

Anonymous said...

In this case, hypocrisy is the compliment virtue pays to vice.

Anonymous said...

I vote for no more lawyers in the White House. Supreme Court yes, White House no.