``The Constitution is not what the president says it is."
File this one under "stinging rebuke". The Boston Globe:
WASHINGTON -- President Bush should stop issuing statements claiming the power to bypass parts of laws he has signed, an American Bar Association task force has unanimously concluded in a strongly worded 32-page report that is scheduled to be released today.
The bipartisan panel of legal specialists includes a former FBI director, a former federal appeals court chief judge, former Republican officials, and leading scholars.
The panel said presidents do not have the authority to declare that sections of the bills they sign are unconstitutional, and that they thus need not be enforced as Congress wrote them.
Bush has used these so-called signing statements to challenge more than 750 laws that have been enacted since he took office, more than all previous presidents combined.
``The president's constitutional duty is to enforce laws he has signed into being, unless and until they are held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court," the report said. ``The Constitution is not what the president says it is."