Obama Signs With The Autopen
The Washington Times is now reporting that the President has once again used the auto-pen to sign a bill into law.
The auto-pen is a device that the White House has used for years to send out signed pictures of the President. It keeps the President from getting writers cramp from all of the requests that have come in. It has not been used by previous Presidents when a signature was needed on a bill, until Barack Obama came into the White House.
The bill in question was an emergency spending measure and the President is on a trip to Asia right now. Rather than have the bill shipped to the President so he could sign it, he authorized the use of the device to get it signed into law.
I am no expert on the Constitution. But, I do know enough when I read something to be able to decipher it's meaning. The Constitution says that when a bill is sent to the President that if the President wants it to be made law then "the President shall sign it." The document does not say that the President shall direct it to be signed or give it the nod or any other thing. The requirement is there for the President to actually physically sign the bill.
I am not a big advocate of government spending in general, but this is a case where an exception needs to be made. The Constitution requires that the President sign the bill if it becomes a law. Directing a machine to do it could put things on a slippery slope in the future. Let's say a President doesn't want to sign a bill. Someone could take it to the auto-pen and have a bill become law, even though the President never meant to sign it.
Technology like the auto-pen, which has been around since the days of President Truman, is a helpful device when used in the right context. When used in the wrong way, it can be something that is beyond what we need.