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Obama's Staff Use Autopen To Sign 'Fiscal Cliff' Legislation
Weekly Standard ^ | 1/3 | Daniel Halper

Posted on 01/03/2013 2:14:50 PM PST by Lmo56

President Barack Obama's staff used an autopen (a machine that mimics one's signature) to sign the "fiscal cliff" legislation that Congress passed on New Year's Day. There was no ceremony or photo-op for the autopen bill signing.

(Excerpt) Read more at weeklystandard.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism
KEYWORDS: autopen; constitutional
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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I don't think this passes constitutional muster.

If it does, then ANYONE using the autopen [even without permission] could make up their own directives, EO's, etc.

1 posted on 01/03/2013 2:14:55 PM PST by Lmo56
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To: Lmo56

let`s be positive !! the autopen was made in America, the Pres..........not so much


2 posted on 01/03/2013 2:18:05 PM PST by Einherjar
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To: Lmo56

“Stroke of the autopen, law of the land, kinda cool...” (With not apologies to Paul Begala)


3 posted on 01/03/2013 2:19:34 PM PST by null and void (The world is full of Maple Streets.)
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To: Lmo56

Make no mistake, this was on purpose. Just as 0’s first (private) inauguration was done absent a bible, this is a message. When 0 was photographed holding his copy of A Post American World, it was a message. The fetters are off, they’re emboldened. They NEVER cared about what is constitutional and we’re going to start hearing them say it.


4 posted on 01/03/2013 2:20:09 PM PST by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: Lmo56

It probably passes Constitutional muster when used with permission. The issue is permission. Not the pen.

SnakeDoc


5 posted on 01/03/2013 2:21:10 PM PST by SnakeDoctor (Come and take it.)
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To: Lmo56

I understand. A photo op signing of a tax increase with palm trees and beach in the background might not be too well received.


6 posted on 01/03/2013 2:22:00 PM PST by skeeter
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To: Lmo56

7 posted on 01/03/2013 2:25:32 PM PST by capydick (''Life's tough.......it's even tougher if you're stupid.'')
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To: SnakeDoctor
It probably passes Constitutional muster when used with permission.

Not so sure about that.

In Clinton v. City of New York [dis-allowing line item veto], Justice Stevens [writing for the majority] was very speific about the process by which a bill becomes law.

And he stated, very clearly, that the President must sign the bill [as written, with no changes] in order for it to become law.

8 posted on 01/03/2013 2:27:26 PM PST by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: demshateGod

I assume the message is that Obama is no threat to even the weakest, least self-sufficient woman voter who wants birth control from the government but nothing directly from a man in her life (at least not a man whose full name she knows), no threat in any physical manner to any enemy of America, and exactly the opposite of manly and capable in all respects. If so, that message is coming through loud and clear.

9 posted on 01/03/2013 2:29:26 PM PST by Pollster1 (Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. - Ronald Reagan)
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To: Lmo56

Yes. And he did. With an autopen.

I doubt the President’s use of technology to sign bills while out-of-pocket renders the signature ineffective.

SnakeDoc


10 posted on 01/03/2013 2:32:10 PM PST by SnakeDoctor (Come and take it.)
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To: SnakeDoctor
Yes. And he did. With an autopen.

HE did NOT sign it - a machine did ...

That is the crux of the issue ...

AND, he DID NOT have to leave town before signing - he coulda put the paper up to the door of Marine One and signed there just before leaving ...

11 posted on 01/03/2013 2:37:35 PM PST by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: SnakeDoctor

Might as well get some rubber stamps made and keep them on every desk in the white hut. After all, you wouldn’t want ears to miss a golf game.


12 posted on 01/03/2013 2:38:32 PM PST by wrench (I want my country back)
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To: wrench
Might as well get some rubber stamps made

Exactly. I can't see any effective difference between an auto-pen and a rubber stamp.

13 posted on 01/03/2013 2:42:07 PM PST by marron
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To: Lmo56

Yes, a machine is not the President. He didn’t sign it, so it’s not law, as far as I’m concerned.


14 posted on 01/03/2013 2:44:28 PM PST by Boogieman
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To: Lmo56
It's okay, the Teleprompter said so.

-PJ

15 posted on 01/03/2013 2:47:36 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: marron
I can't see any effective difference between an auto-pen and a rubber stamp.

Here's the difference.

Autopen = Executive branch.

Rubber Stamp = Legislative and Judicial branches.

Does that help?

-PJ

16 posted on 01/03/2013 2:49:34 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: Lmo56
To all:

Here is what Stevens wrote invalidating the Line Item Veto Act in Clinton v. City of New York:

2. The Act’s cancellation procedures violate the Presentment Clause. Pp. 17-31.

(a) The Act empowers the President to cancel an “item of new direct spending” such as §4722(c) of the Balanced Budget Act and a “limited tax benefit” such as §698 of the Taxpayer Relief Act, §691(a), specifying that such cancellation prevents a provision “from having legal force or effect,” §§691e(4)(B)-(C). Thus, in both legal and practical effect, the presidential actions at issue have amended two Acts of Congress by repealing a portion of each. Statutory repeals must conform with Art. I, INS v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919, 954, but there is no constitutional authorization for the President to amend or repeal. Under the Presentment Clause, after a bill has passed both Houses, but “before it become[s] a Law,” it must be presented to the President, who “shall sign it” if he approves it, but “return it,” i.e., “veto” it, if he does not. There are important differences between such a “return” and cancellation under the Act: The constitutional return is of the entire bill and takes place before it becomes law, whereas the statutory cancellation occurs after the bill becomes law and affects it only in part. There are powerful reasons for construing the constitutional silence on the profoundly important subject of presidential repeals as equivalent to an express prohibition. The Article I procedures governing statutory enactment were the product of the great debates and compromises that produced the Constitution itself. Familiar historical materials provide abundant support for the conclusion that the power to enact statutes may only “be exercised in accord with a single, finely wrought and exhaustively considered, procedure.” Chadha, 462 U.S., at 951. What has emerged in the present cases, however, are not the product of the “finely wrought” procedure that the Framers designed, but truncated versions of two bills that passed both Houses. Pp. 17-24.

(b) The Court rejects two related Government arguments. First, the contention that the cancellations were merely exercises of the President’s discretionary authority under the Balanced Budget Act and the Taxpayer Relief Act, read in light of the previously enacted Line Item Veto Act, is unpersuasive. Field v. Clark, 143 U.S. 649, 693, on which the Government relies, suggests critical differences between this cancellation power and the President’s statutory power to suspend import duty exemptions that was there upheld: such suspension was contingent on a condition that did not predate its statute, the duty to suspend was absolute once the President determined the contingency had arisen, and the suspension executed congressional policy. In contrast, the Act at issue authorizes the President himself to effect the repeal of laws, for his own policy reasons, without observing Article I, §7, procedures. Second, the contention that the cancellation authority is no greater than the President’s traditional statutory authority to decline to spend appropriated funds or to implement specified tax measures fails because this Act, unlike the earlier laws, gives the President the unilateral power to change the text of duly enacted statutes. Pp. 23-29.

(c) The profound importance of these cases makes it appropriate to emphasize three points. First, the Court expresses no opinion about the wisdom of the Act’s procedures and does not lightly conclude that the actions of the Congress that passed it, and the President who signed it into law, were unconstitutional. The Court has, however, twice had full argument and briefing on the question and has concluded that its duty is clear. Second, having concluded that the Act’s cancellation provisions violate Article I, §7, the Court finds it unnecessary to consider the District Court’s alternative holding that the Act impermissibly disrupts the balance of powers among the three branches of Government. Third, this decision rests on the narrow ground that the Act’s procedures are not authorized by the Constitution. If this Act were valid, it would authorize the President to create a law whose text was not voted on by either House or presented to the President for signature. That may or may not be desirable, but it is surely not a document that may “become a law” pursuant to Article I, §7. If there is to be a new procedure in which the President will play a different role, such change must come through the Article V amendment procedures. Pp. 29-31.

Stevens is CLEAR - the President MUST sign a bill before it becomes law. If they want to change it - it MUST go through the Article V process [amendment] ...

17 posted on 01/03/2013 2:50:00 PM PST by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: Lmo56
To all:

Here is what Stevens wrote invalidating the Line Item Veto Act in Clinton v. City of New York:

2. The Act’s cancellation procedures violate the Presentment Clause. Pp. 17-31.

(a) The Act empowers the President to cancel an “item of new direct spending” such as §4722(c) of the Balanced Budget Act and a “limited tax benefit” such as §698 of the Taxpayer Relief Act, §691(a), specifying that such cancellation prevents a provision “from having legal force or effect,” §§691e(4)(B)-(C). Thus, in both legal and practical effect, the presidential actions at issue have amended two Acts of Congress by repealing a portion of each. Statutory repeals must conform with Art. I, INS v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919, 954, but there is no constitutional authorization for the President to amend or repeal. Under the Presentment Clause, after a bill has passed both Houses, but “before it become[s] a Law,” it must be presented to the President, who “shall sign it” if he approves it, but “return it,” i.e., “veto” it, if he does not. There are important differences between such a “return” and cancellation under the Act: The constitutional return is of the entire bill and takes place before it becomes law, whereas the statutory cancellation occurs after the bill becomes law and affects it only in part. There are powerful reasons for construing the constitutional silence on the profoundly important subject of presidential repeals as equivalent to an express prohibition. The Article I procedures governing statutory enactment were the product of the great debates and compromises that produced the Constitution itself. Familiar historical materials provide abundant support for the conclusion that the power to enact statutes may only “be exercised in accord with a single, finely wrought and exhaustively considered, procedure.” Chadha, 462 U.S., at 951. What has emerged in the present cases, however, are not the product of the “finely wrought” procedure that the Framers designed, but truncated versions of two bills that passed both Houses. Pp. 17-24.

(b) The Court rejects two related Government arguments. First, the contention that the cancellations were merely exercises of the President’s discretionary authority under the Balanced Budget Act and the Taxpayer Relief Act, read in light of the previously enacted Line Item Veto Act, is unpersuasive. Field v. Clark, 143 U.S. 649, 693, on which the Government relies, suggests critical differences between this cancellation power and the President’s statutory power to suspend import duty exemptions that was there upheld: such suspension was contingent on a condition that did not predate its statute, the duty to suspend was absolute once the President determined the contingency had arisen, and the suspension executed congressional policy. In contrast, the Act at issue authorizes the President himself to effect the repeal of laws, for his own policy reasons, without observing Article I, §7, procedures. Second, the contention that the cancellation authority is no greater than the President’s traditional statutory authority to decline to spend appropriated funds or to implement specified tax measures fails because this Act, unlike the earlier laws, gives the President the unilateral power to change the text of duly enacted statutes. Pp. 23-29.

(c) The profound importance of these cases makes it appropriate to emphasize three points. First, the Court expresses no opinion about the wisdom of the Act’s procedures and does not lightly conclude that the actions of the Congress that passed it, and the President who signed it into law, were unconstitutional. The Court has, however, twice had full argument and briefing on the question and has concluded that its duty is clear. Second, having concluded that the Act’s cancellation provisions violate Article I, §7, the Court finds it unnecessary to consider the District Court’s alternative holding that the Act impermissibly disrupts the balance of powers among the three branches of Government. Third, this decision rests on the narrow ground that the Act’s procedures are not authorized by the Constitution. If this Act were valid, it would authorize the President to create a law whose text was not voted on by either House or presented to the President for signature. That may or may not be desirable, but it is surely not a document that may “become a law” pursuant to Article I, §7. If there is to be a new procedure in which the President will play a different role, such change must come through the Article V amendment procedures. Pp. 29-31.

Stevens is CLEAR - the President MUST sign a bill before it becomes law. If they want to change it - it MUST go through the Article V process [amendment] ...

18 posted on 01/03/2013 2:51:01 PM PST by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: Lmo56
He set up the machine to do so, and authorized its use for this specific bill.

This just isn't unconstitutional. The Constititution says he has to sign the bill. It doesn't say how he has to sign it, or what implements he can or can't use. It just says he has to sign it. His signature is affixed. By his autopen. With his permission and intent. He signed the bill.

There isn't a Court in this country that is going to rule that a bill is unconstitutional because the President used a automated pen to sign a bill rather than a ball-point pen. It is a petty technicality at best. If a staffer forged his signature, with an autopen or a regular pen ... then you have an unconstitutional bill.

Does it matter whether he had to leave town? That's certainly not anywhere in the Constitution.

SnakeDoc

19 posted on 01/03/2013 2:51:43 PM PST by SnakeDoctor (Come and take it.)
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To: Lmo56

Sorry - fat fingered the post ...


20 posted on 01/03/2013 2:52:59 PM PST by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: Lmo56

Nobody would dispute that the President has to sign a bill for it to become law. The question isn’t whether the President must sign, the question is whether an authorized autopen signature qualifies. That is not addressed in the quoted dicta of Stevens’ line item veto ruling. You’re quoting irrelevant caselaw.

SnakeDoc


21 posted on 01/03/2013 2:58:56 PM PST by SnakeDoctor (Come and take it.)
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To: SnakeDoctor
His signature is affixed. By his autopen. With his permission and intent. He signed the bill.

Its not his signature, its a facsimile ...

You cannot just willy-nilly decide what is constitutional - based on "permission and intent". You have to follow the law.

The law says that the President must sign - not a damn machine ...

22 posted on 01/03/2013 3:00:34 PM PST by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: SnakeDoctor

Sold a house not long ago, and I didn’t put pen to paper at all. Everything was “signed” by a click of the computer mouse.


23 posted on 01/03/2013 3:05:38 PM PST by Last of the Mohicans
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To: Lmo56

I’m not “willy-nilly” deciding anything. You’re making laws up that simply do not exist. There is no law regulating how, or with what implements, a President must sign a bill.

The Constitution simply says he must sign. He did. Show me any law that says that an authorized signature by a Presidential autopen isn’t an official signature. There isn’t one. It isn’t in the Constitution, or anywhere else.

This is an issue of signature techonology, not of Constitutionality. If you want to amend the Constitution to require hand-signature by ball-point pen, have at it ... but the current Constitution does not address the issue.

SnakeDoc


24 posted on 01/03/2013 3:08:46 PM PST by SnakeDoctor (Come and take it.)
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To: SnakeDoctor

“any mark intended to authenticate”

if he wanted he could sign with an “X”


25 posted on 01/03/2013 3:14:27 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: Lmo56
Dubya had it researched by the DOJ, which concluded the use of an autopen was appropriate.

http://www.justice.gov/olc/2005/opinion_07072005.pdf

26 posted on 01/03/2013 3:15:45 PM PST by Last of the Mohicans
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To: Last of the Mohicans

And when I bought my house for cash, I signed absolutely nothing. How does either story relate to the president’s constitutional duties?


27 posted on 01/03/2013 3:18:18 PM PST by wrench (I want my country back)
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To: Last of the Mohicans

Its the way of things. Judges and lawyers use automated signatures and electronic filing all the time. Just as official as pen-to-paper.

This is just a non-issue. A useless technicality, with no basis in law, that people seem to think is some kind of Constitutional ‘gotcha’.

SnakeDoc


28 posted on 01/03/2013 3:18:39 PM PST by SnakeDoctor (Come and take it.)
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To: SnakeDoctor
He didn't really sign the bill, he signed a configuration template that was used to program the machine.

I thought these machines were used for form letters to White House letter writers, donation requests, etc. Not for signing real legislation.

The problem with the autopen is that we're never really sure that Obama actually SAW the bill he was purported to have signed.

"Signing" presumes that he was actually there and functioning, and had actually touched the bill that he was signing.

With the autopen, he could be in a hospital with a blod clot for all we know when the bill was "signed."

Even this Wikipedia article on Autopen questions the legitimacy of using the autopen to sign legislation.

-PJ

29 posted on 01/03/2013 3:21:00 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: wrench

Since the Constitution is silent on what qualifies as an “official signature”, a Court would likely consider what is deemed an “official signature” generally. Electronic signature is considered official in corporate governance, financial transactions, legal proceedings, and even legislative action.

There is no reason to think it would be ruled unofficial exclusively for the purpose of executive authority ... and thus it would be a Presidential signature for the purpose of Constitutionality.

SnakeDoc


30 posted on 01/03/2013 3:23:17 PM PST by SnakeDoctor (Come and take it.)
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To: Last of the Mohicans; SnakeDoctor
Thanks. The Wiki article that I linked to after your post said that Bush asked for a ruling from Justice, but never received one.

Clearly, the article was wrong.

-PJ

31 posted on 01/03/2013 3:23:38 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: Last of the Mohicans; SnakeDoctor
I guess I need new glasses. I reread the article, and it did say that Bush received a concurrenc from Justice, but never used it.

I need to slow down... Sorry.

-PJ

32 posted on 01/03/2013 3:25:30 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: Political Junkie Too

If his signature were forged with an autopen when he was in a coma or something, that would be a Constitutional issue of forgery ... not of use of an autopen when authorized by the President himself.

He doesn’t have to see the bill, or read the bill, or touch the bill. That’s not a Constitutional requirement.

Wikipedia is wrong.

SnakeDoc


33 posted on 01/03/2013 3:27:12 PM PST by SnakeDoctor (Come and take it.)
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To: Political Junkie Too
The problem with the autopen is that we're never really sure that Obama actually SAW the bill he was purported to have signed.

Like the way congress "SEES" a bill before they vote on it?

This time they had what? Three whole minutes to review all 143 pages between the time the bill was presented to congress and the vote?

34 posted on 01/03/2013 4:11:54 PM PST by null and void (The world is full of Maple Streets.)
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To: Last of the Mohicans; SnakeDoctor; All
I might point out that most PAY CHECKS, in a company of any decent size, have AUTOSIGNED or STAMPED signatures.

Of course, now many companies have direct deposit, but the point is we accepted those checks for a LONG TIME.

35 posted on 01/03/2013 4:30:58 PM PST by UCANSEE2 ( If you think I'm crazy, just wait until you talk to my invisible friend.)
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To: Boogieman
Yes, a machine is not the President. He didn’t sign it, so it’s not law, as far as I’m concerned.

Ever cashed a IRS refund check ?

36 posted on 01/03/2013 4:34:28 PM PST by UCANSEE2 ( If you think I'm crazy, just wait until you talk to my invisible friend.)
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To: SnakeDoctor

If the anti-gun twits can say that the Second Amendment only applies to flintlock muskets, then the President must sign all legislation with a quill pen.


37 posted on 01/03/2013 5:34:36 PM PST by reg45 (Barack 0bama: Implementing class warfare by having no class.)
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To: UCANSEE2

The rules for valid check signatures are different than the rules for signing a law.


38 posted on 01/03/2013 5:53:02 PM PST by Boogieman
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To: SnakeDoctor

I understand your position, but the POTUS is unique in our country in that he has the final say on whether legislation becomes the law of the land. The act of signing any contract verifies that the signer understands all the ramifications of the contract and accepts and approves of all that the contract encompass.

The POTUS is held to a much higher standard than a bank employee or a law firm partner. To say he should be treated the same greatly injures or balance of powers supposedly laid out in our constitution.

Can 2 blinks of his eye be construed as a yes if he is semi-conscious laying in intensive care, and thus authorizing legislation to become law?


39 posted on 01/03/2013 6:17:09 PM PST by wrench (I want my country back)
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To: wrench

should say “our balance of powers”


40 posted on 01/03/2013 6:18:51 PM PST by wrench (I want my country back)
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To: Lmo56

but that means everything “signed “ by him in this way will stay valid if/when he’s not impeached as a puojey.


41 posted on 01/03/2013 7:55:44 PM PST by ro_dreaming (G.K. Chesterton, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. It’s been found hard and lef)
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To: capydick

That’s what I was waiting for


42 posted on 01/03/2013 8:12:06 PM PST by Figment
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To: Lmo56

The Teleprompter in Chief now has Autopen hands. Too bad it still lacks brains, morals and a heart.


43 posted on 01/03/2013 8:43:49 PM PST by RicocheT (Eat the rich only if you're certain it's your last meal)
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To: Lmo56
The phony President may as well use a phony autopen.

What's the difference? They're both fakes.

44 posted on 01/03/2013 9:25:41 PM PST by Gritty (The can no longer can be kicked down the road. We're all out of road, there's only an abyss-Mk Steyn)
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To: SnakeDoctor
You’re making laws up that simply do not exist. There is no law regulating how, or with what implements, a President must sign a bill.

Autopens have been in existence since about 1803. Jefferson was known to use one extensively, but NEVER used one to sign a bill into law.

In fact, NO President [until Obama] EVER used one on an official US legislative document.

The consensus of historians is that, in order for a signature to be valid, our forefathers insisted that it be personally scribed on documents - AND USUALLY in front of witnesses.

In 1787, when the Constitution was written, there WAS no autopen, so when the following was written into the Constitution:

... Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it ... If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law ...

This CLEARLY states that the President MUST personally sign it - or wait 10 days for it to become law without his signature.

The Constitution ALSO states that:

... This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land ...

This means that the Constitution controls AS WRITTEN and as the Founders KNEW it to mean.

FORTUNATELY, the Founders provided for revision:

... The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress ...

This means that UNTIL the Constitution is amended, the meaning in the ORIGINAL text controls.

45 posted on 01/03/2013 9:34:09 PM PST by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: SnakeDoctor
He doesn’t have to see the bill The Constitution states tha it MUST be presented to him. In the 18th century - that meant he HAD to see it ...
46 posted on 01/03/2013 9:38:19 PM PST by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: Last of the Mohicans
Dubya had it researched by the DOJ, which concluded the use of an autopen was appropriate.

DOJ opinions don't mean squat - unless or until SCOTUS weighs in on this, the signature method is an unresolved matter.

HOWEVER, in Clinton v. City of New York, SCOTUS HAS stated that in order for a bill to become law - it MUST be signed by the President.

47 posted on 01/03/2013 9:44:41 PM PST by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: SnakeDoctor
Nobody would dispute that the President has to sign a bill for it to become law. The question isn’t whether the President must sign, the question is whether an authorized autopen signature qualifies. That is not addressed in the quoted dicta of Stevens’ line item veto ruling. You’re quoting irrelevant caselaw.

It is not irrelevant. It is an open issue - since SCOTUS has NOT ruled on it. It is NOT directly addressed by Stevens ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.

HOWEVER, the fairly recent ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller [2nd Amendment - Right To Bear Arms] WAS decided on the meaning of the ORIGINAL wording and ORIGINAL intent of the Founders, since the Constituiton HAD NOT been amended to further clarify the meaning the following:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

IF a challenge to the autopen is ever accepted by SCOTUS, it MIGHT likely be decided using the same criteria. What is the original meaning and original intent.

48 posted on 01/03/2013 9:56:33 PM PST by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: SnakeDoctor
The Constitution simply says he must sign. He did. Show me any law that says that an authorized signature by a Presidential autopen isn’t an official signature. There isn’t one. It isn’t in the Constitution, or anywhere else.

This is an issue of signature techonology, not of Constitutionality. If you want to amend the Constitution to require hand-signature by ball-point pen, have at it ... but the current Constitution does not address the issue.

Autopens did not exist in the 18th century - when the Founders said he had to sign it, they meant he had to personally sign it ...

They also said that you just could not deviate from the Constitution - unless by Amendment.

49 posted on 01/03/2013 10:03:13 PM PST by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: Lmo56
"Autopens did not exist in the 18th century -”

At least, not until recently.


50 posted on 01/04/2013 12:43:43 AM PST by clearcarbon
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