American Opinion: On presidential signing statements: Houston Chronicle
An excerpt from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States:
By The Associated Press
On presidential signing statements:
... Signing statements are back in the news.
President Barack Obama is using them to avoid complying with provisions of new laws crossing his desk with which he disagrees, and some Democrats don't like that one bit, either. They're particularly annoyed that their own president is doing it. A recent president of the American Bar Association, H. Thomas Wells, shares their dismay. The ABA condemned signing statements in 2006 when Bush used them.
Signing statements were the creation of lawyers in the Clinton administration to avoid having to veto bills because a president might have relatively small problems with parts of them. ...
It's been argued that Obama has not used the signing statements on matters as contentious as torture, and that is true. So far, the president has used them on a bill that tied funding for the World Bank with agreement that the administration would press the bank to comply with certain policies. They also have been used by Obama to declare that he does not have to agree to limits on who he may appoint to a commission, or to comply with restrictions limiting the number of U.S. troops placed under U.N. command. The president's defenders also make the case that he's using them sparingly.
One of Obama's obvious PR problems is that he was a critic of Bush's use of the practice. In the 2008 presidential campaign he said using them was an "abuse."
He was right the first time.
They are. ...
-- Houston Chronicle