This is a direct quote from the US constitution.
“Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.”
Yes, the constitution does provide the president the authority to veto a bill and send it back to the congress. The veto can then be overridden only by a two-third majority in the house where the bill originated.
This is an article about Separation of Powers (a term attributed to Montesquieu). Keep in mind that Separation of Powers is a very different concept than Separation of Church and State and one that is not so straightforward. It is not a perfect system and it has often been argued that a combined Executive and Legislative might be better.
I believe that Bush has exploited the Separation of Powers framework to assume a dictatorial role, while the Legislative has been handicapped, even now, when the democrats have a majority in both houses, to a point where it is unable to pass any meaningful piece of legislation.
So why is so much power vested in one man who is a part of the Executive when the main role of that branch is executing the orders of the Legislative? And given the strong connection that the Executive can have with one party, isn’t this the perfect opportunity for the president to override the basic intent of the constitution when it created the Legislative?
In effect a minority in the house + the president is turning out to be far more powerful than a majority. Is this not a broken system?
Were the framers of the constitution just not able to comprehend that there could be wide and complete disregard of principals on which the it was founded? Or could they not see the deep rooted corruption and fear of persecution that exists among republicans and prevents them from standing up to the president? I think not.
They did provide many checks and balances and yes they created the Judiciary which was meant to interpret the laws and provide a check for both the Executive and Legislative through judicial review.
However, they did not cater for is the complicity of “We the people” in the gross undermining of law and the system of checks and balances. Public opinion plays a huge role in what is deemed lawful and often, consciously or unconsciously will determine its interpretation. Polls don’t mean much but the fact that 24% of the people still approve of Bush’s role as president is something the founding fathers could not have anticipated. We might be screaming and shouting on blogs and going to Ron Paul gatherings but unfortunately a lot of Americans do not realize how serious the implications of the acts of the Bush government are. A lot of them do but have chose to ignore those acts, or in effect have suspended their constitutional rights under the guise of “more pressing problems to be solved”. It’s almost a cliche now but so relevant:
“Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither” – Ben Franklin
This has happened often in times of national crisis like the Great Depression, or the Vietnam War. But now, the motivations of the people who support Bush are very different and have nothing to do with sacrifice and everything to do with strong misguided fears. What those fears are, is a topic in itself and I dont want to get into it at this time… but Bush has used race, nationalism and the fear of a changing world to divert their attention from real issues. Those people are not innocent however, and are fully to blame for allowing this to happen.
Shame on them for letting down the basic principals of liberty and life laid down by the Founding Fathers… they did not see you coming.