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:: A constitutional law blog by Scalia/Thomas fan David M. Wagner, M.A., J.D., Research Fellow, National Legal Foundation, and Teacher, Veritas Preparatory Academy. Opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not reflect those of the NLF or Veritas. :: bloghome | E-mail me ::

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    :: Thursday, August 17, 2006 ::
    Many thanks to readers who keep popping back here for new stuff. Summer time is, of course, crunch time for law-review writing, so blogging as been thin. So, what's been up?

    * The ABA says presidential signing statements are unconstitutional. That is -- umm, is it OK to talk about the ABA? I -- umm, well, I don't agree, any more than any President or OLC of either party ever has. It boils down to, does enforcing the law (the core Executive Branch mandate) ever involve interpreting it? Of course it does. A signing statement is just a heads-up on the probable (not definite) direction of executive interpretation of the law in question.

    As for Congress conferring standing on itself by statute to challenge signing statements: first, Congress can't do that if standing is a constitutional requirement ("case or controversy") rather than just a judicial docket-management device. Besides, what relief would Congress ask for -- an injunction to the President to enforce the law differently than he said he would in his signing statement? Congress retains its law-making powers, you know. Reconceptualizing itself as a plaintiff and invoking the equity jurisdiction of the federal courts strikes me as a bizarre alternative to simply passing a new law.

    * A U.S. District Judge has just ruled the Administration's NSA "eavesdropping" plan unconstitutional. I'll probably disagree with the holding when I read it, but I'll say this -- it's nice to have a country with courts in which the government can lose.

    :: David M. Wagner 12:47 PM [+] ::

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