Pundits and pols who have been tracking President Bush's constitutional transgressions can add another to the list: his Dec. 28 "pocket veto" of the massive defense spending bill. Instead of issuing a regular veto, which allows Congress the opportunity to override if it can muster the votes, Bush stated that he needed to pocket veto the bill -- a power the Constitution says may only be used when "Congress by their Adjournment prevent [the bill's] Return." Bush argued that he was "prevented" from "returning" the bill to Congress because the House had adjourned.
But Bush was being disingenuous. In fact, a pocket veto was neither necessary nor allowed in this case. In misusing his veto power, Bush was attempting to grab a power for himself and his office that the Constitution's framers emphatically and repeatedly denied to the president: a nearly unlimited, absolute veto. Read more..