A signing statement is a written pronouncement issued by the President of the United States upon the signing of a bill into law. The President of the United States is the Head of state and Head of government of the United States and is the highest political official in United States by For other uses see Bill. A bill is a proposed new law introduced within a Legislature that has not been ratified, adopted Law is a system of rules enforced through a set of Institutions used as an instrument to underpin civil obedience politics economics and society
There is an ongoing controversy concerning the extensive use of signing statements by President George W. Bush to modify the meaning of laws. George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States. In July 2006, a task force of the American Bar Association described the use of signing statements to modify the meaning of duly enacted laws as "contrary to the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers". The American Bar Association ( ABA) founded August 21 1878 is a voluntary Bar association of Lawyers and law students which is not specific The rule of law, in its most basic form is the principle that no one is above the law The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme Law of the United States. Separation of powers, a term ascribed to French Enlightenment Political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu, is a model for the Governance 
While it is in theory possible for other executives to issue signing statements, there is no record of notable signing statements by anyone other than an American president.
In recent usage, the phrase "signing statement" has referred mostly to statements relating to constitutional matters that direct executive agencies to apply the law according to the president's interpretation of the Constitution.
There is a controversy about how to count an executive's use of signing statements.  A flat count of total signing statements would include the rhetorical and political statements as well as the constitutional. This may give a misleading number when the intent is to count the number of constitutional challenges issued.
Another common metric is to count the number of statutes that are disputed by signing statements. A statute is a formal written enactment of a Legislative authority that governs a Country, State, City, or County. This addresses a count of the constitutional issues but may be inherently inaccurate, due not only to ambiguity in the signing statements themselves but also to the method of determining which statutes are challenged.
A Congressional Research Service report issued on September 17, 2007, uses as a metric the percentage of signing statements that contain "objections" to provisions of the bill being signed into law:
No United States Constitution provision, federal statute, or common-law principle explicitly permits or prohibits signing statements. The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme Law of the United States. Article I, Section 7 (in the Presentment Clause) empowers the president to veto a law in its entirety, or to sign it. Article One of the United States Constitution describes the powers of the legislative branch of the United States government, known as Congress Article One of the United States Constitution describes the powers of the legislative branch of the United States government, known as Congress The Presentment Clause ( Article I, Section 7 Clauses 2 and 3) of the United States Constitution outlines federal legislative procedure Article II, Section 3 requires that the executive "take care that the laws be faithfully executed". Article Two' of the United States Constitution creates the Executive branch of the government, comprising the President and other executive Article Two' of the United States Constitution creates the Executive branch of the government, comprising the President and other executive
Signing statements do not appear to have legal force by themselves, although they are all published in the Federal Register. The Federal Register (since March 14, 1936) abbreviated Fed Reg As a practical matter, they may give notice of the way that the Executive intends to implement a law, which may make them more significant than the text of the law itself. There is a controversy about whether they should be considered as part of legislative history; proponents argue that they reflect the executive's position in negotiating with Congress; opponents assert that the executive's view of a law is not constitutionally part of the legislative history because only the Congress may make law. Legislative history includes any of various materials generated in the course of creating Legislation, such as committee reports analysis by legislative counsel committee hearings
Presidential signing statements maintain particular potency with federal executive agencies, since these agencies are often responsible for the administration and enforcement of federal laws. A 2007 article in the Administrative Law Review noted how some federal agencies' usage of signing statements may not withstand legal challenges under common law standards of judicial deference to agency action. The Administrative Law Review (cited to as Admin L Rev) is a law journal officially published by the 
The Supreme Court has not squarely addressed the limits of signing statements. The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States and leads the federal judiciary. Marbury v. Madison (1803) and its progeny are generally considered to have established judicial review as a power of the Court, rather than of the Executive. Marbury v Madison, is a Landmark case in United States law. It formed the basis for the exercise of Judicial review in the United States under 1803 ( MDCCCIII) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Judicial review is the power of the courts to annul the acts of the executive and/or the legislative power where it finds them incompatible with a higher norm Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U. Chevron USA Inc v Natural Resources Defense Council Inc, 467 U S. 837 (1984), established court deference to executive interpretations of a law "if Congress has not directly spoken to the precise question at issue" and if the interpretation is reasonable. Year 1984 ( MCMLXXXIV) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1984 Gregorian calendar) This applies only to executive agencies; the President himself is not entitled Chevron deference. To the extent that a signing statement would nullify part or all of a law, the Court may have addressed the matter in Clinton v. City of New York (1998), which invalidated the line-item veto because it violated bicameralism and presentment. Clinton v City of New York,, is a Legal case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Line-item veto as granted in the Year 1998 ( MCMXCVIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar) In Government, the line-item veto is the power of an executive to nullify or "cancel" specific provisions of a bill usually budget appropriations without In Government, bicameralism (bi + Latin la ''camera'' chamber is the practice of having two legislative or Parliamentary chambers Thus a bicameral The Presentment Clause ( Article I, Section 7 Clauses 2 and 3) of the United States Constitution outlines federal legislative procedure
In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006), the Supreme Court gave no weight to a signing statement in interpreting the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, according to that case's dissent (which included Justice Alito, a proponent of expanded signing statements when he worked in the Reagan Justice Department — see "Presidential Usage" below). Hamdan v Rumsfeld, 548 US 557 (2006 is a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that military commissions set up by the
The first president to issue a signing statement was James Monroe. The President of the United States is the Head of state and Head of government of the United States and is the highest political official in United States by James Monroe (April 28 1758 – July 4 1831 was the fifth President of the United States (1817–1825  Until the 1980s, with some exceptions, signing statements were generally triumphal, rhetorical, or political proclamations and went mostly unannounced. Until Ronald Reagan became President, only 75 statements had been issued; Reagan and his successors George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton produced 247 signing statements among the three of them. George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12 1924 served as the forty-first President of the United States from 1989 to 1993 William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III, August 19 1946 served as the forty-second President of the United States  By the end of 2004, George W. Bush had issued 108 signing statements containing 505 constitutional challenges. George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States.  As of January 30, 2008, he had signed 157 signing statements challenging over 1,100 provisions of federal law. 
The upswing in the use of signing statements during the Reagan administration coincides with the writing by Samuel A. Alito — then a staff attorney in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel — of a 1986 memorandum making the case for "interpretive signing statements" as a tool to "increase the power of the Executive to shape the law. Samuel Anthony Alito Jr (born April 1, 1950) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. For animal rights group see Justice Department (JD The United States Department of Justice ( DOJ) is a Cabinet department The Office of Legal Counsel is an American government legal office in the U " Alito proposed adding signing statements to a "reasonable number of bills" as a pilot project, but warned that "Congress is likely to resent the fact that the President will get in the last word on questions of interpretation. "
This same Department of Justice memorandum observed that use of Presidential signing statements to create legislative history for the use of the courts was uncommon before the Reagan and Bush Presidencies. In 1986, Attorney General Edwin Meese III entered into an arrangement with the West Publishing Company to have Presidential signing statements published for the first time in the U. Edwin "Ed" Meese III (born December 2, 1931 in Oakland California) served as the seventy-fifth Attorney General of the United S. Code Congressional and Administrative News, the standard collection of legislative history.
George W. Bush's use of signing statements is controversial, both for the number of times employed (estimated at over 750 opinions) and for the apparent attempt to nullify legal restrictions on his actions through claims made in the statements — for example, his signing statement attached to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 is a law in the United States signed by President George W Some opponents have said that he in effect uses signing statements as a line-item veto; the Supreme Court had previously ruled such vetoes as unconstitutional in the 1998 case, Clinton v. City of New York. In Government, the line-item veto is the power of an executive to nullify or "cancel" specific provisions of a bill usually budget appropriations without The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States and leads the federal judiciary. Clinton v City of New York,, is a Legal case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Line-item veto as granted in the 
Previous administrations had made use of signing statements to dispute the validity of a new law or its individual components. George H. W. Bush challenged 232 statutes through signing statements during four years in office and Clinton challenged 140 over eight years. George W. Bush's 130 signing statements contain at least 1,100 challenges.   In the words of a New York Times commentary:
And none have used it so clearly to make the president the interpreter of a law's intent, instead of Congress, and the arbiter of constitutionality, instead of the courts. 
Some have defended presidential signing statements as "legitimate". For example, according to a member of the United States Department of Justice:
Many Presidents have used signing statements to make substantive legal, constitutional, or administrative pronouncements on the bill being signed. For animal rights group see Justice Department (JD The United States Department of Justice ( DOJ) is a Cabinet department Although the recent practice of issuing signing statements to create "legislative history" remains controversial, the other uses of Presidential signing statements generally serve legitimate and defensible purposes. 
An editorial in The Wall Street Journal stated:
In its new "study," the ABA claims that Presidential "signing statements" are "contrary to the rule of law and our constitutional system" and urges Congress to pass a law giving itself the power to challenge them in court. It then advances a theory under which the President has no authority to judge for himself the Constitutionality of the various laws he signs. This is absurd on its face given that the President takes an oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," thus obliging him to form an independent opinion of what this requires. 
The signing statement associated with the McCain Detainee Amendment, prohibiting cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees in U. S. custody attracted controversy:
"The executive branch shall construe. . . the Act, relating to detainees, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power. . . . "
This statement explicitly invokes the unitary executive theory, which according to its adherents argues that the President, in his capacity of Commander-in-Chief, cannot be bound by any law or by Congress, since anything hindering him in that capacity can be considered unconstitutional. In American political and legal discourse the unitary executive theory is a theory or doctrine of Constitutional interpretation that holds it A commander-in-chief is the Commander of a nation's Military forces or significant element of those forces The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme Law of the United States.  With his signing statement to the McCain Detainee Amendment, the President has reserved his authority not to be bound by laws passed by Congress. 
In a January 30, 2008, editorial, the New York Times declared, "Over the last seven years, Mr. Bush has issued hundreds of these insidious documents declaring that he had no intention of obeying a law that he had just signed. "
On July 24, 2006, the American Bar Association's Task Force on Presidential Signing Statements and the Separation of Powers Doctrine, appointed by ABA President Michael S. Greco, issued a widely publicized report condemning some uses of signing statements. Events 1132 - Battle of Nocera between Ranulf II of Alife and Roger II of Sicily. Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. The American Bar Association ( ABA) founded August 21 1878 is a voluntary Bar association of Lawyers and law students which is not specific Michael Spencer Greco (b November 22, 1942 Rende, Italy) is a former President of the American Bar Association ( 2006 - 2007 The task force report and recommendations were unanimously approved by ABA delegates at their August 2006 meeting. 
The bipartisan and independent blue ribbon panel was chaired by Miami lawyer Neal Sonnett, a former Assistant U. S. Attorney and Chief of the Criminal Division for the Southern District of Florida. He is past chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section, chair of the ABA Task Force on Domestic Surveillance and the ABA Task Force on Treatment of Enemy Combatants; and president-elect of the American Judicature Society.
The report stated in part:
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa. Arlen Specter (born February 12 1930) is the senior United States Senator from Pennsylvania and a member of the Republican Party ) introduced the Presidential Signing Statements Act of 2006 on July 26, 2006.  The bill would:
The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Specter formerly chaired, on the day it was introduced. The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary (informally Senate Judiciary Committee) is a Standing committee of the United States Senate, the  As with all unpassed bills, it expired with the end of the 109th United States Congress on 9 December 2006.
Specter reintroduced the legislation with the Presidential Signing Statements Act of 2007.