Reagan, Bush 1 and Clinton issued them too. Bush 2 has issued many, many and even more many signing statements.
They have no legal authority and do not change the ability for the law to be enforced.
Yet I think our current president's overuse of them are abusive. He has issued signing statements that say
- "The Executive Branch shall construe [the torture ban] in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary Executive Branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power."
and that he reserves the right to ignore a new law about editing privacy reports."
If the president decides to break the laws that he has signed, I believe he should face the consequences. And I think our law enforcement system should have the courage to act.
And I think our president should have the courage to veto a bill if he thinks there is something wrong with it.