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View Diary: Bush claims Senate's pro forma sessions don't count (374 comments)

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  •  It sets up an interesting hypothetical. (5+ / 0-)

    Here we have a return of a bill, along with a statement of objections that states flatly that it effects something quite different from what it actually is.

    Do we accept the form over the content of the declaration?

    What would we do with a returned bill that came with a statement of objections and a note that said, "This is fantastic as is. Don't change a thing! I consider it binding law!"

    Is that a veto?

    •  Horror and Fantasy category.. (0+ / 0-)

      "Better a little late, than a little never"..Doctor Julian Winston

      by Johnny Rapture on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 07:39:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If he returns it and does not sign it then it is vetoed.  The Constitution is crystal clear.

      •  Nothing's crystal clear. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharoney, bronte17, jnhobbs

        That's why we have courts.

        Try out the hypothetical. What happens to a bill that gets returned unsigned, with a statement that says, "I approve. This is law."?

        It may well be that for lack of a better answer, a court would say it should be considered a veto. But that means that every bill can create a guessing game, and the president's written expression of intent is less important than what mailbox he puts the bill in.

        We can live with that being the state of the law, but it invites a whole lot of mischief. And considering the remedy is simply requiring the president to say "I veto" and nothing more, that's not asking a lot.

        Everything's crystal clear if you don't allow any questions about it.

        •  Well, I misspoke... (0+ / 0-)

          He must include a statement of objections as well.

          But there is no requirement for him to say "I veto".

          I think you should suggest that the next time we rewrite our Constitution.

          •  There is no such requirement. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            But I think the requirement should be read into it.

            Otherwise, a literal reading of the requirements means a returned bill with a list of objections (even just an  objection to the color of the paper the bill was printed on) and a message saying, "I approve" is a veto.

            Which, again, means that a bill either becomes law or is vetoed depending on where the president physically places it. That can't be the real meaning of Art. I, sec. 7, can it? That if a bill is put in one place, no matter what the stated reason, it's a veto, but if it's put anywhere else in the world, again no matter what the reason, it's law?

    •  I think he's setting up for the future. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lysias, donnas

      First, the President is hoping to freeze Congress taking to the Court in order to contest his definition of this as a "pocket veto" by following the standard veto procedure.

      To get some clarity on this, I went to Wikipedia:

      In 1929, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the Pocket Veto Case that a bill had to be returned to the chamber while it is in session and capable of work. A three-day recess of the Senate was considered a short enough time that the Senate could still act with "reasonable promptitude" on the veto. However, a five-month adjournment would be a long enough period to enable a pocket veto. Within those constraints, there still exists some ambiguity...

      But, if Congress proceeds to act upon the veto as a standard veto, then during the President's Day break, or next August, even if the Democrats follow their strategy of Pro Forma sessions, Bush can make his recess appointments and point back to his "pocket veto statement" -- kinda like his Signing Statements, huh? -- as precident and buttress to an arguement that Pro Forma sessions actually constitute a recess.

    •  i agee (0+ / 0-)

      another signing statement not worth shit... he would have written the sky is blue on it... but that would be documenting a fact, something unfamiliar to bush.

      May the Schwartz be with you!

      by FLS on Sat Dec 29, 2007 at 12:26:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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