Get access

The Law: President Obama's Signing Statements and the Expansion of Executive Power



Barack Obama campaigned for president of the United States on a promise of fidelity to the Constitution and stated that he would not issue any signing statements to revise legislative intent. His vision of the presidency stood in marked contrast to President George W. Bush's actions and seemed to suggest a reversal of the trend toward increased executive powers. We will analyze how and why President Obama has largely continued the unilateral presidential action of his predecessor, despite earlier promises to the contrary, outline why signing statements are not useful governing tools, and offer a solution to abuses of constitutional signing statements that impact appropriations.