Proudly afflicting the comfortable [and collecting shiny things] since March 2003

Send Magpie an email!


RSS Feeds
Click button to subscribe.

Subscribe to Magpie via Feedburner  Magpie's RSS feed via Bloglines
Add to Netvibes

Need a password?
Click the button!


Bypass 'free' registration!


Cost of the Iraq War [US$]
(JavaScript Error)
[Find out more here]

Hooded Liberty


BLOGS WE LIKE
3quarksdaily
Alas, a Blog
alphabitch
Back to Iraq
Baghdad Burning
Bitch Ph.D.
blac (k) ademic
Blog Report
Blogs by Women
BOPNews
Broadsheet
Burnt Orange Report
Confined Space
Cursor
Daily Kos
Dangereuse trilingue
Echidne of the Snakes
Effect Measure
Eschaton (Atrios)
feministe
Feministing
Firedoglake
Follow Me Here
gendergeek
Gordon.Coale
The Housing Bubble New!
I Blame the Patriarchy
Juan Cole/Informed Comment
Kicking Ass
The King's Blog
The Krile Files
Left Coaster
librarian.net
Loaded Orygun
Making Light
Marian's Blog
mediagirl
Muslim Wake Up! Blog
My Left Wing
NathanNewman.org
The NewsHoggers
Null Device
Orcinus
Pacific Views
Pandagon
The Panda's Thumb
Pedantry
Peking Duck
Philobiblon
Pinko Feminist Hellcat
Political Animal
Reality-Based Community
Riba Rambles
The Rittenhouse Review
Road to Surfdom
Romenesko
SCOTUSblog
The Sideshow
The Silence of Our Friends New!
Sisyphus Shrugged
skippy
Suburban Guerrilla
Talk Left
Talking Points Memo
TAPPED
This Modern World
The Unapologetic Mexican New!
veiled4allah
Wampum
War and Piece
wood s lot
xymphora

MISSING IN ACTION
Body and Soul
fafblog
General Glut's Globlog
Respectful of Otters
RuminateThis


Image by Propaganda Remix Project. Click to see more.


WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

If you like, you can send Magpie an email!



WHO LINKS TO MAGPIE?
Ask Technorati.
Or ask WhoLinksToMe.


Politics Blog Top Sites

Progressive Women's Blog Ring

Join | List |
Previous | Next | Random |
Previous 5 | Next 5 |
Skip Previous | Skip Next

Powered by RingSurf



Creative Commons License


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Check to open links in new windows. Uncheck to see comments.


Sunday, April 30, 2006

Casting a cloud over the rule of law.

Or, given Dubya's penchant for ignoring any law he doesn't like, perhaps the current situation in the US could better be described as running category-five hurricane over the rule of law.

In a shining example of what good journalism should look like, the Boston Globe's Charlie Savage provides us with a long article that looks in detail at the more than 750 laws that Dubya has 'overruled' since he took office in 2001. While the use of signing statements has increased since the mid-20th century, Dubya's use of these statements far exceeds that of any US president. For each signing statement that Bill Clinton issued during his presidency, for example, Dubya has issued more than eight.


Laws? I don't need no stinkin' laws!

[Graphic: Joan McLaughlin/Boston Globe. Source: Signing statements analyzed by political science professor Christopher Kelley of Miami University of Ohio, and by the Boston Globe.]

While Dubya's use of 'signing statements' to void laws related to national security has been fairly well covered by the US press [although the long-term ramifications of those actions have not], Savage shows how the signing statements are being used in an attempt to increase presidential power in many other areas of government and law:

Bush has also challenged statutes in which Congress gave certain executive branch officials the power to act independently of the president. The Supreme Court has repeatedly endorsed the power of Congress to make such arrangements. For example, the court has upheld laws creating special prosecutors free of Justice Department oversight and insulating the board of the Federal Trade Commission from political interference.

Nonetheless, Bush has said in his signing statements that the Constitution lets him control any executive official, no matter what a statute passed by Congress might say.

In November 2002, for example, Congress, seeking to generate independent statistics about student performance, passed a law setting up an educational research institute to conduct studies and publish reports "without the approval" of the Secretary of Education. Bush, however, decreed that the institute's director would be "subject to the supervision and direction of the secretary of education."

Similarly, the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld affirmative-action programs, as long as they do not include quotas. Most recently, in 2003, the court upheld a race-conscious university admissions program over the strong objections of Bush, who argued that such programs should be struck down as unconstitutional.

Yet despite the court's rulings, Bush has taken exception at least nine times to provisions that seek to ensure that minorities are represented among recipients of government jobs, contracts, and grants. Each time, he singled out the provisions, declaring that he would construe them "in a manner consistent with" the Constitution's guarantee of "equal protection" to all -- which some legal scholars say amounts to an argument that the affirmative-action provisions represent reverse discrimination against whites.

Golove said that to the extent Bush is interpreting the Constitution in defiance of the Supreme Court's precedents, he threatens to "overturn the existing structures of constitutional law."

A president who ignores the court, backed by a Congress that is unwilling to challenge him, Golove said, can make the Constitution simply "disappear."

In a sidebar to the main article, Savage gives ten examples of laws that Dubya has signed, and the signing statements he's issued to claim the power to ignore those laws. The extent of Dubya's assault on the rule of law is breathtaking. And scary.

Saveage also notes that the idea of using signing statements to expand the president's powers at the expense of Congress and the courts dates back to the Reagan administration and a memo written by a certain Samuel Alito. Alito, of course, recently took a seat on the US Supreme Court. I'll leave the implications of those two facts for you to ponder.

| | Posted by Magpie at 1:04 PM | Get permalink




Liar, liar, pants on fire!


NEWS HEADLINES

Mail & Guardian [S. Africa]
NEWS LINKS
BBC News
CBC News
Agence France Presse
Reuters
Associated Press
Aljazeera
Inter Press Service
Watching America
International Herald Tribune
Guardian (UK)
Independent (UK)
USA Today
NY Times (US)
Washington Post (US)
McClatchy Washington Bureau (US)
Boston Globe (US)
LA Times (US)
Globe & Mail (Canada)
Toronto Star (Canada)
Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
AllAfrica.com
Mail & Guardian (South Africa)
Al-Ahram (Egypt)
Daily Star (Lebanon)
Haaretz (Israel)
Hindustan Times (India)
Japan Times (Japan)
Asia Times (Hong Kong)
EurasiaNet
New Scientist News
Paper Chase
OpenCongress

COMMENT & ANALYSIS
Molly Ivins
CJR Daily
Women's eNews
Raw Story
The Gadflyer
Working for Change
Common Dreams
AlterNet
Truthdig
Truthout
Salon
Democracy Now!
American Microphone
rabble
The Revealer
Current
Editor & Publisher
Economic Policy Institute
Center for American Progress
The Memory Hole


Irish-American fiddler Liz Carroll

IRISH MUSIC
Céilí House (RTE Radio)
TheSession.org
The Irish Fiddle
Fiddler Magazine
Concertina.net
Concertina Library
A Guide to the Irish Flute
Chiff & Fipple
Irtrad-l Archives
Ceolas
Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann
BBC Virtual Session
JC's ABC Tune Finder

SHINY THINGS
alt.portland
Propaganda Remix Project
Ask a Ninja
grow-a-brain
Boiling Point
Bruno
Cat and Girl
Dykes to Watch Out For
Library of Congress
American Heritage Dictionary
Dictonary of Newfoundland English
American's Guide to Canada
Digital History of the San Fernando Valley
MetaFilter
Blithe House Quarterly
Astronomy Pic of the Day
Earth Science Picture of the Day
Asia Grace
Gaelic Curse Engine
Old Dinosaur Books



ARCHIVES