Quote: "Nobody reads them. They have no significance. Nothing in the world changes by the publication of a signing statement." Jack Goldsmith, Harvard Law School professor.
Figure of Speech: commoratio (co-mor-RAT-io), the idea repeater.
George W. Bush has never vetoed a bill, making him unique among modern presidents. But then, he doesn’t have to. Instead, he files "signing statements" — memos for the Federal Register that reinterpret the bills. Then he does what he wants, regardless of those insignificant people in Congress and the Supreme Court.
Don’t worry your pretty little head, says Jack Goldsmith, who up to last year oversaw the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. Those signing statements mean nothing. He says this three times with a commoratio ("lingering"), which dwells on a point in different words. It’s the equivalent of a jab in boxing: rapid blows that keep your opponent off balance.
Goldsmith is close to being right. Almost nobody — except the bureaucrats responsible for carrying out those laws — reads the Federal Register.
Snappy Answer: "And if you support this president, you’ll continue ignoring them."