PROTECTIVE PRONOUNCEMENTS: HOW SIGNING STATEMENTS HAVE UPHELD THE CONSTITUTION & WHY THE FRAMERS WOULD AGREE
Hendershot, Thomas Joseph
Although presidential signing statements have been used since the days of the Monroe Administration, they have received very little attention of the political science world. However, the last two presidential administrations (Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama) have been criticized about abusing the use of the signing statement to expand their Presidential powers. These accusations have spawned criticism of presidential signing statements, and efforts to reduce and eliminate their use. Despite this, defenders of the Executive's vested powers (Unitarians) actions tend to suggest that the President's use of the signing statement is merely the Executive branch exercising its authority to its fullest to uphold and protect the United States Constitution.This thesis describes what presidential signing statements are, and the various ways that they can be used by the Executive branch. Additionally, this paper analyzes the unitary executive powers established in the Constitution and why they are important. Through putting these two analyses together, this thesis argues why presidential signing statements are justifiable, and are also needed tools the President of the United States must use to effectively carry out his or her duties.Furthermore, the United States Constitution does not mention presidential signing statements, as the framers of the Constitution never seemed to account for their use. This paper will analyze the framers' and founders' writings and debates on executive powers, and why they would ultimately support and agree that presidential signing statements were warranted and needed instruments for the President to utilize.
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