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.
It depends on who "encouraged" Justice O'Kennedy the night before the ruling.
Freedom of the Many,
and the One,
is worth sacrificing all
...for its sake.
The level to which these Rats stoop for their political agenda....why oh why were they voted into office???
Are people really that naive to think they help this country? /rhetorical question
Good luck with that, Pelosi. ::Snicker::
They will lose, and they will do more to help a Republican get elected as President in 2008 than anything Republicans could do.
See Post #120 though...
Demand of your U.S. Rep. that she be CENSURED.
google the Copperheads in the Civil War...
SSG: Thul is blogging about the Appeal for Courage petition here:
Thanks for the good words. I do think we know that we can ignore Peloser. The problem is, our media does not ignore her.
Nancy: I'm Nancy Pelosi, and you're sitting in my chair.
Aw, Nancy, shaddup and go get another botox injection.
She’s dangerous. Enough that she’s a power-mad libRAT, she’s stupid too and that’s scary.
Get the wench a padded room!
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