“the president would use an autopen machine that holds a pen and signs his actual signature [on the renewed Patriot Act]. ” the White House said.
Article 1, Section 7 of the United States says: “If he approve he shall sign it…” regarding the “Legislative Process”. Clearly the Constitution intends the President to sign a bill, not have a machine sign Bills. Anything else is unconstitutional.
Yet another example where expediency has trumped the Constitution. Opinions to the contrary are useful to mask the issue and create confusion. The Constitution is clear here and treating it otherwise is disingenuous at best, and treasonous at worst.
This discussion is ignoring the problems with the Patriot Act itself.
Update 5/28: The rational that the President “authorized” it means that ANYONE could sign bills for the President if he “authorized” it. A dog’s muddy footprint would work if it was authorized presumably. What exactly is required to “authorize”? A verbal statement – what about someone faking his voice? A wink – or was that a twitch? Something signed – oh wait, that is what we’re talking about?
The signature of the President IS the authorization for a Bill and it makes no sense to authorize the authorization. Just stating that makes it obvious how crazy the entire idea is.
As an attorney, all the legal memorandums that have been rolled out trying to justify the action are nothing more than ex post facto attempts to justify the autopen.
When President Obama comes home, he should sign the Bill in person and never use the autopen again. The use of the autopen is a farce.