Sayin' It Don't Make It So

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"The delusion that holds that U.S. presidents have the power to make laws," writes author, activist, journalist, and radio host David Swanson, "whether closing transgender bathrooms, banning Muslim immigrants, or criminalizing torture, has reached its apex with the collective fantasy that Obama banned and Trump unbanned torture...

"In recent decades we've moved from presidents issuing 'executive orders' and calling them laws, to presidents rewriting laws that they are signing with 'signing statements', to presidents secretly creating laws (and signing statements) in hidden memos, to presidents secretly or publicly tossing out their choice of the presidential 'laws' created by their predecessors, all the way to presidents just making laws by announcing them on television or Twitter."

Can the president write his own laws and procedures? "It is a fairly common rhetorical flourish for presidential candidates to say something like 'when elected, I will repeal' a law," notes American legal journalist Lyle Denniston. "But they can't... the process for repealing a law has to begin in Congress."

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This page contains a single entry published on April 6, 2017 9:28 AM.

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