Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Alex Kozak is planning to file a charge sheet to get an advisory opinion on some of the issues surrounding the presidential veto, particularly the extent of it (what actions can and cannot the president veto) and the timeline (does the veto prevent bills from becoming law, or undo them).
More specific questions raised in the charge sheet:
What constitutes legislative action? Do bills dealing with external matters (such as advocacy of a particular political cause) constitute a legislative action? Is the affirmation of a statement in a bill ("Therefore be it resolved, that the ASUC affirms...") a legislative action?My initial interpretation is that the answer to this question is "yes." A more interesting question is whether a statement such as "Therefore be it resolved, that the ASUC Senate affirms..." is legislative action, and can be vetoed. Another question is whether parts of a bill can be vetoed (not so much in the "line item veto" sense as in the "limited veto power" sense. Can the Senate call its "whereas" clauses veto-proof, because they aren't action at all?)
The other point is, in regards to the By-Law claim that bills take effect immediately upon passage (with some editing by me):
Vetos are not commonly thought to confer power to retroactively nullify existing law, but to prevent bills from becoming law. And unlike the US Government, the ASUC President does not "approve" bills by signing them. Does the power of veto as conceived in the ASUC Constitution grant the President power to "un-do" or nullify a legislative action that has already taken effect?Related is whether the claim of immediate effect is unconstitutional. In a particular case, when the Senate just makes a statement, doesn't it take effect immediately? ("We said this!")
It looks like fun, though, given the lack of precedent in the Judicial Council, it also seems almost irrelevant. I wonder if folks are hoping to apply the ruling to the Israel bill.
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