Phillies Press Release: Presidential Signing Statements
George Phillies for President 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Presidential Signing Statements -- Tool of Tyranny
*Worcester, Mass, April 30:* Libertarian Presidential candidate George
Phillies today condemned the use of so-called Presidential signing
statements to defy the law of the land. "Our Constitution provides a clear path to settle disagreements between our Congress and the President," he reminded Americans. "Congress passes a law. A President who disagrees may veto it. Congress may then over-ride the President's veto. The Founding Fathers knew that the united wisdom of dozens of Senators and far more Representatives is overwhelmingly greater than the wisdom of a lone man in the Oval Office. That's why they set into our Constitution the fundamental principal that in a dispute between Congress and the President, Congress must in the end prevail.
"In our Constitutional system of government," Phillies said, "there is no
room for a President to disobey the law. A President who feels a law is
unconstitutional has one legal path: He seeks a ruling from the courts.
That's why they're there. A President who refuses to obey our laws by
issuing 'signing statements' has only one objective: He is trying to
exercise one-man-rule of our country; in short, he wants to become the
"I am saddened to see a Libertarian candidate who proposes to go against our Constitution, " Phillies said. "My opponent Wayne Root proposes to shrink our budget by using 'impoundment, ' a process found nowhere in the checks and balances of our Constitution. I agree there are precedents for his proposal, notably the vast number of George Bush 'signing statements.' But Bush signing statements are just announcements that George Bush and his cabinet cronies are plotting to break the law. Those are bad precedents that we Libertarians should reject.
"In contrast, if elected, I will obey the law of the land. That starts with
the Constitutional duty of the President to see that our laws are faithfully executed, even the ones he does not like. To end the Federal overspending that will reduce our grandchildren to debt slavery, I will use the Presidential veto and the bully pulpit of the White House. However, I will not open the door for future Presidential tyrants who think they, not our system of laws, are the supreme law of our land."
To support the George Phillies campaign, please visit
http://ChooseGeorge .org/donation <http://phillies2008 .org/donation> today.
To arrange an interview or obtain a short quote from the candidate, contact: Carolyn Marbry, Press Director
pressdirector@ phillies2008. org (510) 276-3216
*George Phillies for President 2008
*http://ChooseGeorge .org <http://phillies2008 .org/>
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- An interesting press release. I was curious about his swipe at
fellow LP candidate Wayne Root's willingness to use "impoundment",
which Phillies compared to signing statements. So I went to Wayne
Root's blog to see what he had to say about it. So, in the interest
of hearing both sides, here it is:
If elected, the Root administration will exercise a power that is much stronger than a line-item veto. That power provided for in the Constitution is known as impoundment.
Thomas Jefferson (arguably the most Libertarian President in U.S. history) first exercised this power in 1801, when he refused to spend $50,000 in appropriated funds for some Navy gunboats, returning the funds to the U.S. Treasury.
Many presidents have exercised this power ever since, the last being Richard Nixon, who attempted to curb runaway spending. But Congress- at a time when Nixon was weak from his criminal scandals- seized the opportunity to overstep its bounds by passing the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, which took away the president's unilateral power not to spend money. Nixon's argument was based on Executive powers, and not on the Constitutional duty of the Presidency.
Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution requires that the President take an oath to solemnly swear that he will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of his ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Most government spending today is in violation of Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution and no congress can require that the President violate his oath of office.
This President will dare to go where no previous president in modern history has dared go.
If elected, this President will invite a showdown with Congress that could go all the way to the US Supreme Court.
This President will impound every last red cent of spending that violates the Constitution.
After reading that, I don't have any problem with "impoundment",
if it is used to prevent spending that would violate the Constitution.
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin
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- Brian Lintz wrote:
> An interesting press release. I was curious about his swipe atGeorge Phillies is correct that "impoundment" is a power not explicitly
> fellow LP candidate Wayne Root's willingness to use "impoundment",
> which Phillies compared to signing statements.
described anywhere in the Constitution. Amusingly, neither is judicial
review of law, which he refers to as a legal remedy in the paragraph
before he condemns Wayne Root's willingness to use "impoundment".
Both powers are are implicit in the Constitution: Judicial Review was
formally introduced in the U.S.A. by the Supreme Court case Marbury v.
Madison, but its roots go back to British common law, and the concept
was well known in the American colonies prior to the writing of the
Constitution. Impoundment is a consequence of the statement in Article
VI that "This Constitution, <i>and the Laws of the United States
<b>which shall be made in Pursuance thereof</b>; ... shall be the
supreme Law of the Land;</i> ..." and the President's Oath of Office.
The President may choose not to execute laws he believes are
unconstitutional, and if the Congress disagrees, they too can seek
remedy from the courts in the form of a Writ of Mandamus. Presumably,
unlike George Bush, a reasonable President would only use this power on
pre-existing laws he did not have an opportunity to veto, or those where
the veto was overridden. Ironically, the case Marbury v. Madison arose
from President Thomas Jefferson ordering Madison (his Secretary of State)
to "impound" the commissions of several last minute judges that John
Adams appointed two days before the end of his term as President.