Skip to comments.Rep. Graves questions Obama's autopen signing of Patriot Act [confirm that he saw the law prior...]
Posted on 05/27/2011 9:56:16 AM PDT by Sub-Driver
Rep. Graves questions Obama's autopen signing of Patriot Act By Daniel Strauss - 05/27/11 11:17 AM ET
Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) is questioning President Obama's use of an autopen in signing an extension of the Patriot Act.
In a letter Friday, Graves asks Obama to confirm that he saw the law prior to its autopen signing.
"Mr. President, I write to request your confirmation that S. 990, as passed by Congress, was presented to you prior to the autopen signing, as well as a detailed, written explanation of your Constitutional authority to assign a surrogate the responsibility of signing bills passed into law," Graves wrote.
Obama signed the bill into law late Thursday night. The autopen was used because the president was in France, meeting with G8 leaders, and the bill's provisions expired at midnight.
Graves cited Article 1 Section 7 of the Constitution, which says that the president must sign a bill to approve it into law.
"Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it," the article reads.
Read Graves's letter below:
Why, after 2 1/2 years in office, would we expect him to follow ANYTHING stated in the Constitution?
Doesn’t signing a bill require several Congress people be present to witness the president’s signing? Signing with an autopen has never been done before, but this president does so many things a president has not done before. Did anyone listen to Alex Jones on Coast to Coast last night?
I’ve got something else the auto pen can sign:
In your dreams, I fear.
The Constitution, that old thing? Nobody pays attention to that any more.
This means his teleprompter signed it.
And, just what is this Constitution thing that you speak of?
I don't think so. That isn't what the Presentment Clause says, anyway.
Signing with an autopen has never been done before, but this president does so many things a president has not done before.
Well, the Office of Legal Counsel under Bush decided this in 2005, so your statement probably isn't correct.
According to this: Presentment Clause: The President Can Sign a Bill With an Autopen:
Our analysis proceeds as follows: In Part I, we examine the legal understanding of the word sign at the time the Constitution was drafted and ratified and during the early years of the Republic. We find that, pursuant to this understanding, a person may sign a document by directing that his signature be affixed to it by another. We then review opinions of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice and find the same understanding reflected in opinions addressing statutory signing requirements in a variety of contexts. Reading the constitutional text in light of this established legal understanding, we conclude that the President need not personally perform the physical act of affixing his signature to a bill to sign it within the meaning of Article I, Section 7. In Part II, we consider the settled interpretation of the related provisions of the same section of the Constitution that require that bills be presented to the President and that the President return to Congress bills he disapproves, and find that this interpretation confirms our view of Article I, Section 7′s signing requirement. In Part III, we consider practice and precedent relating to the constitutional signing requirement and show that they do not foreclose our conclusion.
pdf of actual judgment available about mid-page.
Did anyone listen to Alex Jones on Coast to Coast last night?
No. His voice makes my German Shepherd tear up the linoleum.
I’m surprised that AF-1 doesn’t have one of those modern “fax machines” that lawyers use all the time.
I’m sure that the government could buy one of them for probably something under $800,000.
I’m glad Graves is asking this. Obama will likely ignore him.
Someone with standing (i.e. someone who’s private communications are intercepted via the act) will have to sue. And when they do I suspect this issue is going to tie-up the courts for a very long time.
Okay. Bush certainly laid the groundwork for Obama, didn’t he? In so many ways.
Fascinating find from the Bush era.
Great, now we’ve got Max Headroom as president. Barack Hussein Popinjay- the accidental muslim.
I wonder if the autopen came out because, legally, Hussein cannot sign anything into law because he’s not really the president.
My head is going to explode
There is no precedent. 0bama is the first to pull this crap.
Two distinct issues:
First, what does it mean to sign—the Bush piece is in Obama`s favor on this one
Second—What does it mean to present? The Bush piece doesn`t address this one. Unless the President has had an opportunity to read the bill, I would opine that it has been presented to him because it hasn`t been present where he is. E-mail or fax might suffice, but if that is the case, the auto-pen shouldn`t be needed.
I bet he was asleep when the final version passed, and hadn`t been awakened before it was `signed.