President Obama Issues New Memo on Presidential Signing Statements

Earlier this week, President Obama issued a Memorandum on Presidential Signing Statements. Signing statements are used to raise constitutional objections to statutory provisions, and as documented by OpenTheGovernment.org’s Secrecy Report Card 2008, President Bush frequently used signing statements  to broadly challenge a wide variety of provisions of law.

The new memo outlines President Obama’s intentions to “take appropriate and timely steps, whenever practicable, to inform the Congress of its constitutional concerns about pending legislation” and  “ensure that signing statements identify my constitutional concerns about a statutory provision with sufficient specificity to make clear the nature and basis of the constitutional objection. ”

We commend President Obama for taking this important step to promote additional transparency and accountability in the Executive Branch.

[Posted by Emily Feldman]

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