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A modest question.

Let's say that a future President elects to stop enforcing the law with respect to power plant emissions of sulfur and mercury. The people, via their representatives in Congress, have stated that these emissions should be regulated and those companies that violate the law should be fined. The sitting President confirmed the "will of the people" by signing the bill into law.

What mechanism other than a lawsuit should Congress use to compel a sitting President to enforce the law.

A President that ignores the law has effectively changed the law. If a President can single-handedly change the law, why do we bother sending representatives to Congress?


Mike Peterson

In that case, you'd sue the EPA, not the president.

Suggest you Google "signing statements" to see if any other presidents have ever announced their lack of interest in supporting a law they are signing.

Kanika Mishra

Hello Mike,

Thanks for taking a note of my work on your website


I haven't found any record of the suit actually being filed. But the actual suit would have to be against the relevant agency, would it not?

And yes I know all about signing statements and executive orders.

I dislike the former and have done so for sometime. Such differences are why the Constitution gives the President veto power.

The latter is appropriate with respect to describing how a law is to be enforced. It is inappropriate for basically saying "screw the law, here's what we will do instead".

Regardless of who is in the Whitehouse.


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