Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Fruits of Tom's Labor include Unintended Indulgences

by Ken Houghton

Via Eschaton, the New York Daily News* notes yet another peculiar phrase in a Bush signing statement:

Most of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act deals with mundane reform measures. But it also explicitly reinforced protections of first-class mail from searches without a court's approval.[emphasis mine]

Yet in his statement Bush said he will "construe" an exception, "which provides for opening of an item of a class of mail otherwise sealed against inspection in a manner consistent ... with the need to conduct searches in exigent circumstances."


White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore denied Bush was claiming any new authority.

"In certain circumstances - such as with the proverbial 'ticking bomb' - the Constitution does not require warrants for reasonable searches," she said.

Bush, however, cited "exigent circumstances" which could refer to an imminent danger or a longstanding state of emergency.

It's scary when the tabloids are better at explaining and understanding the news than certain other papers. On the other hand, it's encouraging that they get it and they believe their readers will get it.

*"New York's hometown paper," which is my excuse for why I found this out from Attaturk and not reading it over someone's shoulder on the trainbuying it.
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