OF PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS - Presidential Infallibility


By Tony Russell


Washington, March 7 -

In a straight party-line vote, the Senate last night passed "The Presidential Infallibility Act," which reads simply, "The president cannot make a mistake when speaking ex officio [from the Oval Office]." The bill was made retroactive to the beginning of President Bush's first term. Identical legislation had already passed in the House by a comfortable margin, and the president is expected to sign the bill early today.

Despite the act's brevity, legal scholars suggest that it may have important constitutional implications. Leon Rowland, dean of the law school at Marshall University, points out that "If the president is infallible, and the legislative and judicial branches remain burdened with human error, they're obviously not co-equal. The theory of checks and balances goes out the window. Among other things, with this act, Congress has effectively relinquished its power to override a presidential veto."

Daniel Workman, a constitutional scholar at West Virginia University's law school, argues, however, that "Given the current state of American government, this law will have little practical effect. It's fundamentally undemocratic, but then so are holding prisoners without charge, torturing captives, conducting secret free-ranging electronic surveillance, and initiating war on the basis of phony charges." ... Continued at readtonyrussell.blogspot.com

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