More Vetoes, Please, for the President

Use your vetoes. Photographer: J.H. Owen-Pool/Getty Images

In making the prisoner swap to free Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, President Barack Obama had to deal with a provision found in the 2014 Defense Authorization Act which requires 30 days notice to Congress before transferring a detainee from Guantanamo. Obama objected to this provision in a signing statement when he approved the law. I don't know to what extent he stayed within the law, justifiably skirted it or flat-out disregarded the measure in exchanging five detainees for Bergdahl. (For more on that, see reasonable arguments from Marty Lederman and Jack Goldsmith.)
But Obama had a better tool than a signing statement with which to handle his opposition.

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