Blog/USA Current Events
Posted Jun 10, 2015 by Martin Armstrong
The Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman reported on Twitter that on June 2 at 6:03 pm Obama said he would sign a law banning bulk collection. June 2, 9:50 pm: DOJ asks secret court for 180 more days of bulk collection. When the Founders drafted the Constitution, they feared that Congress would dominate the government – not the executive. The office of president has done everything in its power to undermine the Constitutional structure. There are no such things as “signing statement” that allows the president to selectively enforce what laws he agrees with. This circumvents the VETO power, which in Latin means “I forbid”.
Constitutionally, all legislation passed by both houses of Congress must be presented to the president. This presentation is in the president’s capacity as Head of State. Therefore, if the president approves of the legislation, he or she signs it into law. According to the Constitution (Article 1, Section 7) if the president does not approve, he or she must return the unsigned bill within ten days (excluding Sunday) to the House of the U.S. Congress in which it originated, while Congress is in session. The president is constitutionally required to state his or her objections to the legislation in writing, and Congress is constitutionally required to consider them, and to reconsider the legislation. In effect, this action is a veto.
If Congress overrides the veto by a two-thirds majority in each house, it becomes law without the president’s signature. Otherwise, the bill fails to become law, unless the bill is presented again to the president and he or she chooses to sign it. Historically, Congress overrides the presidential veto less than 10% of the time.
A bill can also become law without the president’s signature. This can occur if the president fails to sign a presented bill within the ten days allotted. If there are fewer than ten days left in the session before Congress adjourns, and if Congress does adjourn before the ten days have expired in which the president might sign the bill, then the bill fails to become law. This procedure, when used as a formal device, is called a pocket veto.
What is really controversial has become “signing statements” dating back to James Monroe. However, they were just that – a statement, rather than a directive. These signing statements have become an unconstitutional usurpation of power, never granted to the president. They began as a written comment issued by a president at the time he was signing the legislation. At first, these signing statements simply comment on the bill he signed, saying that it is good legislation or meets some pressing needs. However, the initial controversial aspects have evolved where these signing statements became claims by presidents that they believe some part of the legislation was unconstitutional and therefore they intend to ignore it or to implement it only in ways they believe are constitutional. More recently, these signing statements have departed entirely from where a president did not believe the law was constitutional, where his duty is first and foremost to uphold the Constitution, and degenerated into signing statements that simply refuse to comply because of political reasons. Obama has absolutely no power whatsoever to disagree with Congress for political reasons. If he disagrees with legislation, then the proper presidential action is either to veto the legislation (Constitution, Article I, Section 7) or to “faithfully execute” the laws (Constitution, Article II, Section 3). There is no gray area here.
What Obama did is outright treason. He has no authority whatsoever to refuse to comply with the legislation. His refusal is treason, for it contradicts that it is the people who make the laws through Congress, not the President unilaterally.
This is part of the Crisis in Democracy, marking the end times of every Republic throughout history.