View Poll Results: Is the use of the autopen to sign bills Constitutional?

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  • Yes, it is

    10 35.71%
  • No, and it bothers me that Obama used it

    12 42.86%
  • No, but Obama's use of it doesn't really bother me

    2 7.14%
  • Don't know/don't care

    4 14.29%
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Thread: Presidential use of the autopen

  1. #1
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    Presidential use of the autopen

    article

    Article 1 Section 7 Clause 2

    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 approves he shall sign it,
    To me, it can't be Constitutional. The Constitution clearly states that a bill must be signed by the president, not an Autopen. I don't even know if an Autopen would constitute a legal signature for contracts, though perhaps someone on here can clarify that use.
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    Re: Presidential use of the autopen

    I don't much like the idea of using an Autopen to sign legislation.

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    Re: Presidential use of the autopen

    No a real signature should be used.
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    Re: Presidential use of the autopen

    I think it should be avoided when possible, but I don't know that I'd say it's unconstitutional. As long as it's clear that it was the president's intent to sign the law, I wouldn't argue about it too much. If there's ever any question about it though, I think I'd err on the side of it NOT being valid.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Presidential use of the autopen

    Don't care. If the president supports the bill, it doesn't matter what he uses to sign it. There are more important issues, such as the bill he signed with the autopen, aka the Patriot Act.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Presidential use of the autopen

    Quote Originally Posted by atrasicarius View Post
    Don't care. If the president supports the bill, it doesn't matter what he uses to sign it. There are more important issues, such as the bill he signed with the autopen, aka the Patriot Act.
    The Constitution is VERY clear. It states that it must be signed by the president. It isn't intent of the President.

    Someone could challenge this in court and could possibly win, which creates a very dangerous situation.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Presidential use of the autopen

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    The Constitution is VERY clear. It states that it must be signed by the president. It isn't intent of the President.

    Someone could challenge this in court and could possibly win, which creates a very dangerous situation.
    You know, I'm gonna go ahead and say that the Patriot act is a larger violation of the Constitution than using an autopen to sign it. If the founders were here right now, I think I can take a guess as to which one they'd be more concerned about.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Presidential use of the autopen

    I don't think any president, in recent time, has read all the bills he has signed.
    Most likely he has received a brief by a staffer and said "yea or nay" to that.

    That should just about disqualify most bills passed in the last 20-30 years.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Presidential use of the autopen

    I feel that how the signature is applied is a matter of preference, however I believe the Constitutional intent would be that the President at least be present and personally involved in the signing process. I don't much like Obama being in France, while a signature is applied in DC.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Presidential use of the autopen

    Constitutional? I don't know but it was cowardly. Pretty much along the lines of his long history of voting "present".

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