Monday, July 24, 2006

410,000 lawyers in the ocean, a good start?

According to a Wired article, the ABA (American Bar Assoc.) is forming a task force to publicly denounce and challenge Bush's habit to add bill-signing statements to just about every law he signs. Next month at their annual meeting in Hawaii they will present this to the ABA policy makers to decide if they will peruse legal action.

The group claims that abusing this power violates the Constitution and jeopardizes the separation of powers. Which seems to make sense if it does give the President the power to "interpret or disregard measures on national security and constitutional grounds." Normally I wouldn't think this would be a major concern (save for a few crucial laws), but Bush has signed over 800 statements (200 more than the grand total of every other presidency) in his term. While I would fear any President who would sign so many statements, I particularly fear this current administration's abuse of power.

The question is will the ABA decide to take action? There are a lot of heavy hitters on the offensive, but I would imagine there would be just as many whom oppose the ABA taking action. Furthermore, if the ABA does decide to take action, can they do anything? Is Bush breaking any laws? Does the spirit of the law count? I don't doubt that the ABA holds a lot of power, but it seems like little to nothing has been able to slow down the current powers.