President Bush objects to judges who legislate from the bench rather than follow the rule of law and the clear intentions of the legislative branch. But he is guilty of similar activism — big time.
Bush has issued more than 500 bill-signing statements — twice as many as President Clinton and former President Bush combined. Bush used these little-known statements to attach his own interpretation of legislation and signal whether he wants agencies to implement the new laws, including the recently passed ban on torture.
Lawmakers tried to rein in Bush’s activism in 2003 by passing a provision requiring the Justice Department to inform Congress whenever the administration ignored a law based on constitutional objections. But Bush used a bill-signing statement to assert his right to ignore that requirement.
Apparently, activism is in the eye of the beholder.
Posted by Phillip Brownlee
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