So what does the Professor have to say in yesterday's Chicago Tribune about Bush's extremely aggressive use of signing statements?
What is new and troubling is the extraordinary frequency with which President Bush has used these statements, and the unorthodox way he uses them. The recent spate of presidential signing statements constitutes a threat to our country's system of checks and balances as surely as the Bush administration actions that the Hamdan ruling struck down did.
President Bush dishonors traditions in his aggressive use of signing statements as one way among many to circumvent the congressional and judicial checks built into the Constitution.
But put the point in reverse: If the presidential signing statements are no big deal, why does the president make them? One reason is that it skews the administration of a statute by presidential subordinates before a matter gets into court. A second--and more troubling--point relates to the larger question of the role of judicial review.
Modern understanding of judicial review requires the executive branch to take its marching orders from the Supreme Court. Signing statements, I fear, could be the opening wedge to a presidential posture that judicial decisions may limit the president's ability to use courts to enforce his policies, but cannot stop him from acting unilaterally. On this theory, the president could continue to order wiretaps and surveillance in opposition to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act after a court had determined that he has exceeded his powers--he just couldn't use the evidence acquired in court. Different branches of government have different views of the law, yet the executive marches on. A major check on executive power goes by the boards. [emphasis added]
(h/t to pontificator at Daily KOS)