01/18/2006: A point worth contemplating....
Josh Marshall, in a piece on President Bush's aggressive use of "signing statements" setting forth his "interpretation" of the bills he signs into law, writes:
...the idea seems to be here to allow the president his own version of legislative intent, to imbed what he thinks the law means into the record, presumably for future courts to take into consideration or to justify at some later point how he chooses to implement the law.Or, in the words of a judge who was wiser and more learned in the law than Sam Alito (or many of his other soon-to-be-colleagues on the Court) ever will be:
Sam Alito, twenty years, wrote that "Since the president's approval is just as important as that of the House or Senate, it seems to follow that the president's understanding of the bill should be just as important as that of Congress."
(As with John Yoo, this seems to me to be another example of how the greatest threat to our constitution may be the noodling of brainiac young lawyers who ply their wizbang 'logic' in the absence of what seems like just about any serious historical grounding in the traditions and practices of our system of government.) [emphasis added --LRC]
The life of the law is not logic, but experience.
--Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Len on 01.18.06 @ 08:47 AM CST