The president has used the recent postal code reform, much of which from what I understand is very beneficial to the employees and to the system overall, to push through a nifty bit of law to allows him to open mail. The only catch is that the president can only open the mail when the president says it is necessary to do so and will only be overseen by... you guessed it, the president himself.More in the Washington Post: Link, and the San Jose Mercury News: Link. (Thanks, eecue and Jake and others)
From the White House (Link to announcement):The executive branch shall construe subsection 404(c) of title 39, as enacted by subsection 1010(e) of the Act, which provides for opening of an item of a class of mail otherwise sealed against inspection, in a manner consistent, to the maximum extent permissible, with the need to conduct searches in exigent circumstances, such as to protect human life and safety against hazardous materials, and the need for physical searches specifically authorized by law for foreign intelligence collection.
Reader comment: Michael Thomason says,
Signing statements have no basis in law. It's where the President signs a law, and says he's not going to follow the law he just signed. In fact, his signing statement "is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it. (NY Daily News article)"
Please do not give this President more power than is granted to him in the US Constitution. He can sign the law, but he must follow it. His words are not law. The bill he signed that was passed by the congress is law, and it contradicts his statement. In fact, this President is acting illegally.