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Thread: Ignoring a Law on Foreign Relations

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    Ignoring a Law on Foreign Relations

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/16/us...gewanted=print

    The Justice Department has declared that President Obama can disregard a law forbidding State Department officials from attending United Nations meetings led by representatives of nations considered to be sponsors of terrorism.

    Based on that decision, which echoes Bush administration policy, the Obama administration sent State Department officials to the board meetings of the United Nations’ Development Program and Population Fund in late spring and this month, a department spokesman said. The bodies are presided over by Iran, which is on the department’s terror list, along with Cuba, Sudan and Syria.

    The administration’s decision was disclosed in a little-noticed legal memorandum recently posted on the Justice Department Web site.

    The law at issue is a fairly narrow one, and presidents of both parties have long objected to such statutes as infringements on their power over foreign relations.

    But assertions by the Justice Department that certain laws cannot bind the president have drawn far more attention since the Bush administration, when the Office of Legal Counsel wrote secret opinions authorizing the bypassing of statutes and treaties governing surveillance and the treatment of detainees.

    ...

    In the new opinion, David Barron, the acting head of the Office of Legal Counsel, wrote that the statute — a restriction Congress imposed in the State Department’s annual budget bill — “unconstitutionally infringes on the president’s authority to conduct the nation’s diplomacy, and the State Department may disregard it.”

    His opinion cites many examples of previous administrations of both parties taking a similar view. Among them, Mr. Bush used signing statements to instruct the State Department to interpret identical restrictions as “advisory” rather than mandatory, and his administration sent officials to a Development Program meeting in January.

    ...

    Justice Department officials pointed out that when Mr. Obama signed the legislation containing the provision in March, he issued a signing statement reserving a right to bypass any portions of the bill that restricted his power to conduct diplomacy.
    Another day, another situation where Obama does exactly what he criticized Bush for doing. For those who don't remember, here's Obama's position on signing statements:

    While it is legitimate for a president to issue a signing statement to clarify his understanding of ambiguous provisions of statutes and to explain his view of how he intends to faithfully execute the law, it is a clear abuse of power to use such statements as a license to evade laws that the president does not like or as an end-run around provisions designed to foster accountability.

    I will not use signing statements to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law. The problem with this administration is that it has attached signing statements to legislation in an effort to change the meaning of the legislation, to avoid enforcing certain provisions of the legislation that the President does not like, and to raise implausible or dubious constitutional objections to the legislation.
    There's no way that a reasonable person could look at what is happening here and conclude that Obama is doing anything other than the very thing he criticized and pledged not to do.
    Last edited by RightinNYC; 09-17-09 at 03:38 PM. Reason: add link
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    Re: Ignoring a Law on Foreign Relations

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Another day, another situation where Obama does exactly what he criticized Bush for doing. For those who don't remember, here's.

    There's no way that a reasonable person could look at what is happening here and conclude that Obama is doing anything other than the very thing he criticized and pledged not to do.
    Rational and reasonable supporters of The Obama are, at present, wondering exactly when the "change" they voted for will arrive.

    The partisan, bigoted kool-aid drinkers will defend The Obama no matter what.

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    Re: Ignoring a Law on Foreign Relations

    Missing the link.

    Obama is in the wrong here. Although the statuette is stupid and should be removed, he is going about it the wrong way. He never should have signed it in the first place, and if he wants to get rid of it, he should gets the courts to declare it unconstitutional or make congress repeal it. Signing statements should not be used in the such a fashion, as it is an abuse of executive power.

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    Re: Ignoring a Law on Foreign Relations

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Another day, another situation where Obama does exactly what he criticized Bush for doing. For those who don't remember, here's Obama's position on signing statements:



    There's no way that a reasonable person could look at what is happening here and conclude that Obama is doing anything other than the very thing he criticized and pledged not to do.
    Here I sit continuing to be unsurprised. Bush III sure is going at it this week.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

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    Re: Ignoring a Law on Foreign Relations

    Rational and reasonable supporters of The Obama are, at present, wondering exactly when the "change" they voted for will arrive.

    The partisan, bigoted kool-aid drinkers will defend The Obama no matter what.
    That is funny because you spent an entire thread defending Bush for doing exactly the same thing.

    Look Here

    Hypocrisy at its finest.

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    Re: Ignoring a Law on Foreign Relations

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    That is funny because you spent an entire thread defending Bush for doing exactly the same thing.

    Hypocrisy at its finest.
    On the contrary... yours is a failure to understand the point, at its worst.

    I didn't make a statement one way or the other regarding the propriety of the issue, I made a statement regarding supporters of The Obama who expected Him to bring change from the practices of GWB, etc.

    The hypocrites are those that condemned GWB for this, but support The Obama in doing the same thing -- thus my statement that "partisan, bigoted kool-aid drinkers will defend The Obama no matter what".


    You're forgiven.

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    Re: Ignoring a Law on Foreign Relations

    So you think Obama is right on this matter? If so, I will stand corrected and retract my claim of you being a hypocrite.

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    Re: Ignoring a Law on Foreign Relations

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    So you think Obama is right on this matter? If so, I will stand corrected.
    I didn't make any statement either way regarding The Obama, so you stand corrected no matter what.


    But, to directly addrewss your question:
    The conduct of foerign policy and foerign relations is the nearly exclusive purview of the President. There's little Congress can directly do to affect his efforts in that regard, and so to ignore law to that effect is, most always, fully within his rights as President.

    So, again, you're forgiven.

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    Re: Ignoring a Law on Foreign Relations

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Here I sit continuing to be unsurprised. Bush III sure is going at it this week.
    I've become to see it more as Major League Bush.

    You know....

    Bush on Steroids

    Its almost everything I hated about Bush, with few of the things I liked about him, and then a heap load of extra crap I can't stand.

    Hope and Change baby. Hope and Change.

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    Re: Ignoring a Law on Foreign Relations

    Stop waffling. You clearly supported Bush using signing statements to ignore parts of the law he considered unconstitutional. To maintain logical consistency and avoid hypocrisy, you must support Obama for making exactly the same choice. If you legitimately believed that the president has such power, it wouldn't matter which president it is. Refusing to say anything it still hypocritical, as you didn't stay silent when Bush received the same treatment.

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