Skip to comments.Obama's Staff Use Autopen To Sign 'Fiscal Cliff' Legislation
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 ...
Ball point pens also did not exist in the 18th century. Every bill since the advent of ball point pens must be unconstitutional.
Signing by an implement other than quill & ink is not a deviation from the Constitution. No amendment is required because there is no langauge in the Constitution that needs to be changed to allow signature by ball-point pen or autopen.
The case law you cited is irrelevant. The line-item veto case had nothing to do with what qualifies as a Presidential signature. You’re quoting nonbinding dicta in Stevens ruling ... and it doesn’t even make the point you wish it did.
The original intent was that the President sign a bill to confirm his consent to its passage. Obama consented, and confirmed it by authorized autopen signature. Non-issue.
Heller is also irrelevant to this matter.
>> 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?
We already have Constitutional provisions dealing with Presidential incapacity. We don’t need a novel interpretation of the signature requirement outlawing certain signature implements to deal with that scenario. That would be decided on a 25th amendment challenge to capacity, not the signature requirement.
Signature is signature. There is no question of whether Obama consented to the legislation, or Obama’s capacity to sign, or whether the signature was unauthorized or forged, or whatever. He signed it. He wanted to sign it. He had capacity to sign it. There is no question here to be answered. The founders intent with the signature requirement has been fulfilled.
>> 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.
I was under the impression that they were wrong. Do you think the 2nd Amendment only applies to flintlock muskets?
Sorry Doc, ain’t buying it. If he does not personally sign legislation in front of witnesses, it didn’t happen.
As I said, the office of the POTUS is unique in all the world, and should be treated as such, not just another legal or industry drone.
>> This means that UNTIL the Constitution is amended, the meaning in the ORIGINAL text controls.
True. The original text is silent on signature implements. If you want to outlaw autopens, you need an amendment. The text doesn’t say what you seem to think it does.
Where are you going with this? What is your aim? The founders intent was that a bill be signed by the President to confirm his consent to making it law. Nobody disputes Obama’s consent. Nobody disputes authorization. Nobody disputes his capacity. Nobody disputes that he intended the bill to become law. Nobody disputes anything here. I don’t get your endgame.
What is the purpose in forcing him to put put a low-tech pen-to-paper rather than high-tech pen-to-paper? I really don’t think the founders gave a damn what he used to sign the bill so long as he consented to the bill becoming law.
Who said there were no witnesses?
Of course they are wrong. I was just presenting an analogy.
An “Auto Pen” is like a semi-automatic rifle. If Presidents can use Auto Pens, then citizens can keep and bear semi-automatic (and even automatic) rifles.
The argument seems better presented the other way, at least on this board ... if citizens can keep-and-bear semi-automatic rifles under the 2nd, then the President can use an autopen under the signature requirement.
Your argument is better stated that way to an anti-gun, pro-autopen audience ... like Obama himself.
The point is, technology can be fit in to Constitutional language, but it should be fit in consistently. Either the language includes technological advances for both guns and signature implements ... or it includes neither. It seems strange for a group (like The Weekly Standard) so vehemently committed to the 2nd’s inclusion of higher-tech weapons to be so vehemently opposed to the signature-requirement being fulfilled by higher-tech implements.
Maybe you should tell that to Obama.