For John, BLUF: The President is a
I didn't want to cite The Washington Examiner, but The International New York Times failed to mention the use of a dreaded "Signing Statement". You know, that terrible disruption of the Constitution that President George W Bush used to use, and about which Senator Barack Obama of Illinois used to complain.
From the Washington Examiner article:
President Obama on Friday signed into law a bill authored by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz that would bar an Iranian diplomat from entering the United States, but immediately issued a statement saying he won't enforce it.Well, I can see Senator Cruz's point, and the President's. And I am glad the President is not letting himself be bound by previous statements and commitments. Besides, this could be the kind of thing that might seal a larger deal.
[President] Obama decided to treat the law as mere advice. "Acts of espionage and terrorism against the United States and our allies are unquestionably problems of the utmost gravity, and I share the Congress's concern that individuals who have engaged in such activity may use the cover of diplomacy to gain access to our Nation," Obama said in his signing statement.
"Nevertheless, as President [George H.W.] Bush also observed, "curtailing by statute my constitutional discretion to receive or reject ambassadors is neither a permissible nor a practical solution." I shall therefore continue to treat section 407, as originally enacted and as amended by S. 2195, as advisory in circumstances in which it would interfere with the exercise of this discretion."
[President] Obama frequently criticized President George W. Bush for such signing statements during his 2008 campaign. “Congress's job is to pass legislation," he said, as The Daily Beast recalled. "The president can veto it or he can sign it.”
“It is unconscionable that, in the name of international diplomatic protocol, the United States would be forced to host a foreign national who showed a brutal disregard for the status of our diplomats when they were stationed in his country,” Cruz said when he introduced the bill.
The legislation was directed at Hamid Abutalebi, whom Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tapped as U.N. ambassador, because of his alleged role in the 1979 student takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, in which 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days. Abutalebi insists his role was limited to translation and negotiation.
Here is the take from Legal Insurrection.
Regards — Cliff