Skip to comments.Pelosi threat to sue Bush over Iraq bill
Posted on 05/08/2007 7:07:38 PM PDT by Jean S
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is threatening to take President Bush to court if he issues a signing statement as a way of sidestepping a carefully crafted compromise Iraq war spending bill.
Pelosi recently told a group of liberal bloggers, We can take the president to court if he issues a signing statement, according to Kid Oakland, a blogger who covered Pelosis remarks for the liberal website dailykos.com.
The president has made excessive use of signing statements and Congress is considering ways to respond to this executive-branch overreaching, a spokesman for Pelosi, Nadeam Elshami, said. Whether through the oversight or appropriations process or by enacting new legislation, the Democratic Congress will challenge the presidents non-enforcement of the laws.
It is a scenario for which few lawmakers have planned. Indicating that he may consider attaching a signing statement to a future supplemental spending measure, Bush last week wrote in his veto message, This legislation is unconstitutional because it purports to direct the conduct of operations of the war in a way that infringes upon the powers vested in the presidency.
A lawsuit could be seen as part of the Democrats larger political strategy to pressure through a series of votes on funding the war congressional Republicans to break with Bush over Iraq.
Democrats floated other ideas during yesterdays weekly caucus meeting. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) suggested that the House consider a measure to rescind the 2002 authorization for the war in Iraq. Several senators and Democratic presidential candidates recently have proposed that idea.
There was a ripple around the room in support of the idea, said Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.).
In the 1970s, congressional Democrats tried to get the courts to force President Nixon to stop bombing in Cambodia. The courts ruled that dissident lawmakers could not sue solely to obtain outcomes they could not secure in Congress.
In order to hear an argument, a federal court would have to grant what is known as standing, meaning that lawmakers would have to show that Bush is willfully ignoring a bill Congress passed and that he signed into law.
The House would have to demonstrate what is called injury in fact. A court might accept the case if it is clear that the legislature has exhausted its ability to do anything more, a former general counsel to the House of Representatives, Stanley Brand, said.
Lawmakers have tried to sue presidents in the past for taking what they consider to be illegal military action, but courts have rejected such suits.
A law professor at Georgetown Law Center, Nicholas Rosenkranz, said Bush is likely to express his view on the constitutionality of the next supplemental in writing. Whether Bush has leeway to treat any provision of the supplemental as advisory, however, depends on the wording Congress chooses, Rosenkranz added.
Bruce Fein, who was a Justice Department official under President Reagan, said Democrats seeking to challenge a signing statement would have to try to give themselves standing before filing a lawsuit.
Youd need an authorizing resolution in the House and Senate to seek a declaratory judgment from the federal district court that the president, by issuing a signing statement, is denying Congresss obligation to [hold a veto override vote], Fein said.
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) introduced legislation to that end last year, but the idea of a lawsuit has yet to gain traction in Congress.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said that the odds would be good for a signing statement on the next supplemental, considering that Bush has in the past shown a predilection for excusing his administration from contentious bills. But Levin did not offer any clues as to how Democratic leaders would counter Bush.
Did they give up on Murtha's plan to "re-postion" a Middle East Rapid Reaction Force in Okinawa, Japan? In which they would have to fly 6,000 miles, across the heart of China and Iran, in order to "re-insert" if things "turned bad?"
Im not sending anyone a dime until I see some one with some balls go back after Pelosi and company and go after her HARD. I see NOTHING so far . They are not worth a dime , the lot of them .
The puppet masters are well funded. They are pulling her strings.
You go after her if you are funded. You can’t go after her if you are not funded. Meaning, if these alleged conservative Democrats feel no threat of a well funded opposing candidate in their district, they can march to her tune. Opposing candidates can’t do anything without money. Why would the media listen to what they say if they are powerless, and without money . . . they are powerless.
The horse goes in front of the cart. Not behind it. We need to know who the vulnerable Democrats are who are placeholding in OUR seats and their districts need to be flooded with news of what the Speaker THEY voted for is doing. It takes money to flood.
Congress has a means to force on the president legislation he does not want, and that is by a two-thirds majority in each house. So how can they exhaust the means available to them unless they have done this?
I will pay any MSM reporter $50 if they ask Hillary if she agrees with what Bush wrote, or does whe agree with democrats that if she becomes President she DOESN'T have this power.
Well stated, needs to be repeated. I am more disgusted with our wimpy Reps in Congress. Most deserve to be replaced with Warrior conservatives. I wonder if someone doesn't have pictures that compromise most of the Reps. It doesn't seem right that not ONE Representative doesn't yell and call her what she is -- "a TRAITOR!"
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
Sounds like there's not much wiggle room for Queen Nancy to get her way on this one.
If you haven't seen this yet: A campaign by active-duty troops asking Congress to drop plans for a withdrawal from Iraq. Lt. Jason Nichols, a 33-year-old naval projects officer who has been in Baghdad since mid-January, said the goal is to keep lawmakers focused on letting the military finish its mission in Iraq, and not prematurely declare failure
The dems never gain anything the legal way. That’s how they’ve always RULED and they think they are entitled to do whatever they want to get the end result they want.
It’s the most disgusting display of arrogance I’ve ever seen.
Pelosi's spokesman is a Muslim from the Middle East. How fitting.
But the good news is that House Repubs, along with a clear majority of Senate Repubs and dems do not support Pelosi’s and Murtha’s approach and ideas for a new supplemental bill. Pelosi and Murtha want to substitute timetables with difficult to reach benchmarks in short periods of time (60 days financing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, then the President would have certify that the Iraqi government had met certain goals, followed by another vote in the House for an additional 60 days funding). This tactic has no chance of success, not going to happen.
Your etc. should have included using the CIA to ivestigate global warming. This woman is a hamburger short of a Happy Meal!
Who is the bigger threat to our nation’s security, LIBERALS or Islamic jihadists?
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