Thursday, February 01, 2007

Judiciary Chairman Conyers to probe signing statements

"Asserting that President Bush’s frequent use of 'signing statements' to interpret federal laws have allowed the executive branch to effectively thwart Congressional intent, House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) said Wednesday that his panel will launch a formal investigation into the practice," the paid-restricted Roll Call reports Wednesday.


The Michigan lawmaker said the investigation would include both Democratic and Republican staff and will focus on the approximately 150 signing statements issued by Bush, which the American Bar Association estimates have affected more than 1,100 provisions of federal law.

House Democrats have criticized the use of such statements, arguing that they not only undermine the separation of powers of the legislative and executive branches but also threaten legislative authority.

“All too often, the administration has engaged in these practices under a veil of secrecy. This is a constitutional issue that no self-respecting federal legislature should tolerate,” Conyers said.


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