Skip to comments.Obama Pocket Veto Illegal and Would Set Dangerous Precedent
Posted on 10/07/2010 2:20:33 PM PDT by daniel885
Obama's pocket veto today is a dangerous precdent where Obama is basically asserting the right to an absolute veto (without the power to override) even when Congress is in session. Pocket vetoes can only be done when Congress isn't in session. But go to www.senate.gov. The Senate will convene tomorrow morning at 11:30 and also just convened on Tuesday.
Here's what the Constitution says...
"If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a Law, in like manner as if he had signed it, u...nless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a Law."
A "pocket veto" effectively kills the legislation. It's an absolute veto without the power to override. Presidents have long used this but this is the first time I've heard of a President asserting this while Congress is in session. (Note the text of the Constitution says "THEIR adjournment" meaning both houses must adjourn for Congress to be considered adjourned).
To stop pocket vetoes Congress has from time to time appointed officials to receive communications from the President but Presidents usually don't recognize that and insist on Congress being in session (to preserve the right of a pocket veto). In this case though, there's no ambiguity. Congress is in session.
Robert Gibbs was asked how The President can pocket veto the bill when the Senate was still in session. He sort of dismissed this, as Democrats have been doing a lot the last few years when challenged on the Constitution, and said "the President certainly has the constitutional power to do that, and that is what he's exercising."
So Obama is trying to create a precedent where he can veto a bill without recourse... just ahead of new Republican majorities. He's subverting our Constitution!
agreed. That should become a law in that instance.
Is there a specific bill he is vetoing? I admit to not completely understanding the pocket veto. My apologies.
Told you so.
And the stupid Republicans will whine and file a complaint. And maybe 5 years from now the SC will rule his actions unconstitutional. In the meantime, the repercussions of his illegal actions will have done their damage.
This is why I believe that the SC is not going to be our salvation from ObamaCare, regardless of how they rule years down the road. It will be far too late to matter. And the Democrats will ignore court orders anyway, because there is never a downside for them to do that.
Most people haven’t heard of the “pocket veto” that is why we’ve got to mobilize quickly to learn and educate others why what he’s doing is so scary.
The left has been complaining all day about a bill that nobody noticed that passed both houses by voice vote that requires one state to recognize the notorized documents from another state. Well the leftists are worried that will speed up foreclosures and people who haven’t been paying for homes will be kicked out and their free ride will end sooner. So Obama announced he’s going to “pocket veto” it today See the Huffington Post outcry here if you want: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/07/obama-pocket-veto-foreclosures_n_753987.html.
Read more about a pocket veto on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_veto
Basically it makes the bill disappear and Congress doesn’t have the ability to try and override it (or put members on the spot whether they support overriding it). It’s only supposed to happen when Congress isn’t in session... but Congress is in session, formally at least.
Congress was referred to as a plural in the times of the Founding. We speak of it as a singular but the Founders did not. Since “Congress” cannot be considered to be sitting unless both Houses are sitting it would be effectively adjourned if one is not. Presumably one House could still be in session even if Congress is not.
If Obama does not sign the bill within ten day it will be law. But we can, no doubt, expect all the dirty tricks and questionable acts he can come up with.
Not according to Wright v United States. It basically takes the same assumption as you are making but reverses it. Congress IS in session unless both houses adjourn.
They wrote in reference to a similar scenerio:
“The Congress’ did not adjourn. The Senate alone was in recess. The Constitution creates and defines ‘the Congress.’ It consists ‘of a Senate and House of Representatives.’ Article 1, § 1. The Senate is not ‘the Congress.”
So if only one half of Congress adjourns but the other has not then Congress as a whole has not adjourned. At least that’s my understanding of it. If I’m wrong, please do explain. I’m not a lawyer, that’s why I’m throwing this out there.
The senate and the house will have both adjourned before the ten days are up.
Thank you for the information and links.
No it won’t. The Senate never passed an adjournment resolution. It is operating under a order of the Senate to convene every three days in pro-forma sessions under a bi-partisan agreement to keep the Senate technically in session to prevent recess appointments. The Senate deliberately took action to not adjourn.
Or was it plural like the Brits would say "The government are..." or "The company are..." where we would use the singular form "is". Congress may have been plural in the sense that it is made of 535 individuals, not that it has two houses.
National Journal has now written an article about it... talking about a potential constitutional showdown on the issue. But folks, why wouldn’t Obama just outright veto the bill? What’s the motive behind it... that’s the point. He is asserting a power ahead of new Republican majorities that he hopes to use against them to make their bills vanish as if they never passed.
This is new?
Um..... the pocket veto can only be asserted while Congress is in session -- they can't present the president with a bill unless they're in session.
The president has 10 days to sign or veto. There's nothing saying he can't run out the clock for 9 days.
What? Pocket vetoes have long been used legitimately. Reagan issued 39 of them! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_veto
Congress passes a bill and sends it to the President and then adjourns. Then the President doesn’t sign it and it doesn’t become law because Congress wasn’t in session.
The problem in this case is Congress hasn’t adjourned because the Senate is still in session and plans to be in session until the Lame Duck session in order to prevent recess appointments under a bi-partisan agreement. That same method to prevent a recess appointment should also prevent a pocket veto.
As he is not qualified to serve, Obama’s entire presidency is a subversion of our constitution.
If Congress is in session and the President doesn’t sign the bill or veto it, the bill becomes law. So no, pocket vetoes can only be used when Congress is NOT in session (which it is now).
From the Constitution (not that it means anything anymore):
“If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a Law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a Law.”
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