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Republican Says Obama2011™ Signing Statement Not Constitutional; Obama2008™ Agrees

By Doug Powers  •  April 16, 2011 07:10 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

When I read that Obama was going to sign a bill that contained a provision to defund czars, I thought that seemed just a little too easy to be true (as it turns out, so did John Boehner). That’s because it was too easy — and Rep. Steve Scalise said that Obama disregarding that part of the bill is unconstitutional:

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the chief sponsor of the effort to defund administration-appointed advisers known as “czars,” reacted angrily Saturday to a signing statement from Obama saying he plans to keep them. In a statement emailed to The Hill, Scalise accused Obama of acting like a “dictator.”

“President Obama should know that it is the courts, not the executive branch, that has the authority to determine the constitutionality of laws passed by Congress, especially considering that he agreed to this provision and signed the law himself,” Scalise said in an emailed statement.

Scalise isn’t alone in thinking signing statements are unconstitutional. There’s a Democrat who believes the same thing: President Obama. Well, not President Obama, but rather candidate Obama. We’ve come to find out that those are two completely different people. Here Obama’s take on signing statements in 2008:

“I taught the Constitution for 10 years, I believe in the Constitution and I will obey the Constitution the of the United States. We’re not gonna use signing statements as a way to do an end-run around Congress, alright?”

Roll tape:

Disregard what Obama said in 2008 though — I mean, heck, just two years before that he called raising the debt ceiling “a sign of leadership failure.” It was a crazy time all around.

As for Obama’s signing statement and the budget bill, one thing that might help Republicans avoid being had like this would be to stay away from similar compromises altogether. As Sigourney Weaver said in the movie Aliens: “It’s the only way to be sure.”

Update: Like clockwork, White House Spokesman Jay Carney came out to make excuses for why Obama’s use of signing statements was constitutional but Bush’s wasn’t.

(h/t HAP)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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