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.
There's really only two idea's here. One is to fund the troops. The other is to pull the funding for the war and let the chips fall where they may.
But - imagine these a-holes sitting around the room trying to devise legislation which does not pull the funding but which tries to pull the funding at the same time? Utterly incomprehensible.
How long until 3 or 4, or 6 or 8 so-called Republicans cave to this insanity and bail on Dubya? I can imagine them lining up to stab him in the back at this very moment. The RAT insanity continues to worsen and spread.
Exactly right! With regard to her recent trip to Syria, she should be prosecuted under the Layton Act and the State Department should revoke her passport immediately.
Personally, I cannot recall a Speaker of the House in my 64 years who has ever been trying to usurp the power of the Presidency like she has. I'd love to see her tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.
"Hey Peloosely! I approved so many signing statements today I sprained my finger signing them. Here look."
This loose cannon needs to be permanently de-wheeled, and tucked away in a well padded room.
Unless basic Law 101 eludes me you cant sue a standing President.
Despite all the evidence to the contrary. For example, President Bush has an MBA from Harvard...when it meant something.
But the most convincing evidence of all is found in this statement: There are no dummies in the cockpit of a supersonic jet fighter.
Democrats sitting around plotting ways to destroy the Constitution and the country. Traitors. Flat out Traitors.
“We can take the president to court if he issues a signing statement, according to Kid Oakland”
I hear he also goes by the name KOoLAID DAN.
They can be impeached, IIRC.
Is it possible that there could be more than one Anti-Christ at work in the demoncrat party?
I used to think it was Hitlery all by her lonesome. Now it seems that there is another power-mad b!tch seeking to destroy all that is right and good.
Dingy Harry doesn’t even qualify on the same level as those two loonies - he’s just essentially evil.
Maybe the next “regime change” by our military should be in Washington, D.C. ...
SCOTUS said you can - Paula Jones case. An idiotic decision, IMO.
I'm glad the Hill published this, they are mainstream although somewhat left-leaning.
Of course she thinks she`s POTUS. This bonafide psychopath basically went into a power seizure, said she was the most powerful woman in the country right after winning speaker. Proves she doesn`t give a damn about the country, only about power.
“After calling herself “the most powerful woman in America,” Mrs. Pelosi flexed her right muscle like a weight lifter to much applause at an event yesterday titled a “women’s tea.” “All right, let’s hear it for the power,” she screamed.”
I don’t remember the Dems getting upset over BJ Clinton issuing executive orders. As Clintonista Paul Begala said: “Stroke of the pen, law of the land. Kinda cool.”
They ruled that Clinton could be sued for actions before he was president, not actions while he was president and most importantly, not for actions AS president.
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