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View Diary: Professor Epstein Sounds the Alarm on Signing Statements (159 comments)

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    Unstable Isotope, greenearth

    It sounds to me that the signing statement is more powerful in principle than the simple line item veto. The only difference is that it doesn't actually change the contents of the law on the books. Essentially, it allows the executive to change the very law that was passed without bringing it up for a vote. The executive is then free to enforce the amended law as he sees fit.

    Also, is it possible to challenge the signing statement in court?

    If not, if the executive enforces the law based on the signing statement, but all you can challenge is the original law, then the executive has free reign to do what he wants in whatever grey area is created between the law and the signing statement. If the law itself is clearly constitutional, but the behavior of the executive based on the signing statement is not, then you have no legal standing whatsoever.

    In other words, it appears that the signing statements allow enforcement of laws that aren't actually on the books. It seems rather arbitrary to me.

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