I must have missed something.
Your link goes to an article about the Bush admin asking the DoJ to "look into" the matter of voter irregularities in Ohio, it doesnt say anything about Bush not following a law he signed.
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
Published: October 24, 2008
WASHINGTON " The Bush administration has informed Congress that it is bypassing a law intended to forbid political interference with reports to lawmakers by the Department of Homeland Security.
The August 2007 law requires the agency’s chief privacy officer to report each year about Homeland Security activities that affect privacy, and requires that the reports be submitted directly to Congress “without any prior comment or amendment” by superiors at the department or the White House.
But newly disclosed documents show that the Justice Department issued a legal opinion last January questioning the basis for that restriction, and that Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, later advised Congress that the administration would not “apply this provision strictly” because it infringed on the president’s powers.
Several members of Congress reacted with outrage to the administration’s claim, which was detailed in a memorandum posted this week on the Web site of the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department.
Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, called the move “unconstitutional.” He said Mr. Bush should have vetoed the bill if he did not like the provision, and compared the situation to Mr. Bush’s frequent use of signing statements to reserve a right to bypass newly enacted laws.
“This is a dictatorial, after-the-fact pronouncement by him in line with a lot of other cherry-picking he’s done on the signing statements,” Mr. Specter said in a telephone interview. He added, “To put it differently, I don’t like it worth a damn.”
The Bush administration defended the decision not to obey the statute. Erik Ablin, a Justice Department spokesman, said its legal view was consistent with what presidents of both parties had long maintained.
Mr. Ablin also said the administration had told Congress that the provision would be unconstitutional, but Congress passed the legislation " which enacted recommendations of the 9/11 Commission " without making the requested change. So the administration decided to sign the bill and fix what Mr. Ablin called its “defects” later.
The letter that Mr. Chertoff sent to Congress in March was addressed or copied to 10 Congressional leaders. But it was not publicly disclosed and received no press coverage. It is not clear how many lawmakers saw it.
In an apparent coincidence, the Homeland Security Department’s privacy officer, Hugo Teufel III, issued his annual privacy report on Friday. It said there were 4,184 privacy complaints over a recent six-month period, but gave few details about them.
The Department of Homeland Security declined to make Mr. Teufel available for an interview or to say whether administration officials had edited his report.
“We are not able to comment on this specific report,” said Laura C. Keehner, the department press secretary. She added that the department’s activities to date had complied with the Office of Legal Counsel opinion and the Constitution.
A spokeswoman for Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said he would write a letter Monday to the department questioning the process by which the report was made.
The Supreme Court has never ruled on whether Congress can pass a law that puts an executive branch official beyond the control of the president when it comes to giving information to oversight committees.
The court has, however, upheld statutes that gave regulatory agencies and prosecutors independence from presidential control. The Justice Department memorandum issued in January said that those precedents covered different kinds of situations and so did not apply, and that the restrictions Congress sought to impose on the reports by the Homeland Security Department privacy officer “must yield to the extent their application would interfere with the president’s constitutional authority to comment upon or amend” any information provided to Congress.
Several law professors said the administration’s legal theory went too far.
Neil Kinkopf, a law professor at Georgia State University who worked in the Office of Legal Counsel during the Clinton administration, called the opinion an example of the administration’s expansive theories of executive power “run amok.”
Peter Strauss, a Columbia University law professor, said the 2007 law was valid because the president is not the “exclusive” source of communication with Congress.
In the Justice Department memorandum, however, Steven G. Bradbury, the principal deputy assistant attorney general and head of the Office of Legal Counsel, argued that presidents of both parties had long objected to bills that would infringe on their ability to control executive branch officials or to protect against the unauthorized disclosure of information to Congress.
“Such interference is impermissible regardless of its purported oversight or other justifications,” Mr. Bradbury wrote.
The Office of Legal Counsel interprets the law for the executive branch, often ruling on issues that are difficult to get before a court. Its opinions are often secret. Under Mr. Bush, the office has come under criticism as using aggressive legal arguments to provide legal cover for bypassing statutes that inhibited White House policies, including harsh interrogations and sending taxpayer dollars to religious groups.
Sat 25 Oct, 2008 11:18 am
And will he go forward with turning spy satellites on US?
Joe Wurzelbacher doesn't immediately turn up in the Ohio voter registration database, leading to some speculation last night that he's not registered to vote.
But the Toledo Blade reports that he appears to be registered, and a Republican primary voter at that:
Linda Howe, executive director of the Lucas County Board of Elections, said a Samuel Joseph Worzelbacher, whose address and age match Joe the Plumber’s, registered in Lucas County on Sept. 10, 1992. He voted in his first primary on March 4, 2008, registering as a Republican.
Ms. Howe said that the name may be misspelled in the database.
(This is, incidentally, the reason people worry about purging the voter rolls. They're such a mess to begin with.)
I think history will be much kinder to the current administration than are those who assume that it is doing terribly wrong things in violation of the privacy and rights of the citizens. If I were President in the wake of 9/11, I would see that my #1 responsibility was that there not be another. I would see it as my first priority that people not be blown up on airplanes or trains or in crowded auditoriums or market places or while at work in large office buildings. And I would use every resource at my disposal to keep the people safe so that they could be at minimal risk as they move around the country conducting their lives normally. There are still a lot of bad people out there who will take that freedom away from us at their earliest opportunity.
I have not felt that my personal privacy has been violated; I don't know a soul who has had their personal privacy violated; and there is an amazing lack of lawsuits, complaints, and protests from the citizens claiming that their personal privacy has been violated at any time during this last seven years. I am pretty sure that my business and home phone was tapped when I was working for an organization loosely involved in the so-called "Sanctuary Movement" in 1984. That was during the Reagan administration, but because the activities were illegal I didn't worry about it too much. I wasn't personally involved in anything illegal and they were going to be really bored listening in on my conservations. But during the Bush administration despite all the stepped up security? Nope. No problems.
If Obama is elected President I hope he will be at least as diligent in providing the protection that we have had the last seven years.
Don't know. But why would he? He's been railing against the policies and decisions of that asshole for the past two years, along with the corruption of Washington, and he's a constitutional scholar with knowledge and respect for the law, so why would you think he would?
Sat 25 Oct, 2008 03:14 pm
I hope that when Obama is elected he will hold Bush accountable for all his actions -- including 1.3 million counts of murder.
Under what circumstances, if any, would you sign a bill into law but also issue a signing statement reserving a constitutional right to bypass the law?
Signing statements have been used by presidents of both parties, dating back to Andrew Jackson. While it is legitimate for a president to issue a signing statement to clarify his understanding of ambiguous provisions of statutes and to explain his view of how he intends to faithfully execute the law, it is a clear abuse of power to use such statements as a license to evade laws that the president does not like or as an end-run around provisions designed to foster accountability.
I will not use signing statements to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law. The problem with this administration is that it has attached signing statements to legislation in an effort to change the meaning of the legislation, to avoid enforcing certain provisions of the legislation that the President does not like, and to raise implausible or dubious constitutional objections to the legislation. The fact that President Bush has issued signing statements to challenge over 1100 laws " more than any president in history " is a clear abuse of this prerogative. No one doubts that it is appropriate to use signing statements to protect a president's constitutional prerogatives; unfortunately, the Bush Administration has gone much further than that.
Here's a video of Obama answering the same question in a town meeting back in May, 2008
Before the economic mess he was saying that one of his first priorities was going to be to conduct a review of all the signing statements Bush wrote, but priorities will probably change a bit as far as immediate allocation of time. He hasn't said that, that is my presumption.
May 28th, 2008
Bush’s laws will be scrutinized if I become president, Obama says
DENVER - Maybe it’s his background teaching constitutional law.
If elected president, Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama said one of the first things he wants to do is ensure the constitutionality of all the laws and executive orders passed while Republican President George W. Bush has been in office.
Those that don’t pass muster will be overturned, he said.
During a fund-raiser in Denver, Obama " a former constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago Law School " was asked what he hoped to accomplish during his first 100 days in office.
“I would call my attorney general in and review every single executive order issued by George Bush and overturn those laws or executive decisions that I feel violate the constitution,” said Obama