Obama: Ignore signing statements

Excellent! The President is moving in the right direction!

Signaling another break with his predecessor’s expansive view of executive power, President Barack Obama is essentially nullifying hundreds of so-called signing statements in which George W. Bush took issue with provisions in bills he signed.

Bush used signing statements to express opposition to about 1,200 items in legislation passed during his eight years in office. In many instances, he told federal agencies they should ignore the offending provisions because they intruded on duties he said the Constitution reserved exclusively for the executive branch.

On Monday, Obama issued a memorandum effectively negating Bush’s signing statements by telling agencies not to follow on them without consulting with the Justice Department in advance.

“There is no doubt that the practice of issuing such statements can be abused,” Obama’s directive said. “Constitutional signing statements should not be use to suggest that the President will disregard statutory requirements on the basis of policy disagreements.”

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