“I taught the Constitution for 10 years. I believe in the Constitution, and I will obey the Constitution of the United States. We’re not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end run around Congress.”
— Barack Obama, May 18, 2008, at a campaign stop in Billings, Montana
President Obama began his presidency with great promise, publicly pledging to end many of the Bush administration attacks against the U.S. Constitution. Obama had pledged during his initial election campaign to end signing statements as a back-door method of legislating (usurping the legislative branch’s powers under Article I of the Constitution), warrantless surveillance (violating the Fourth Amendment), detention without habeas corpus (Fifth Amendment) or trial (Sixth Amendment), torture (Eighth Amendment), and excessive executive branch secrecy under the “executive privilege” and “state secrets” claims, and pledged that he would not engage in offensive wars without the approval of Congress (Congress’ power under Article I, Section 8).
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