Rise of the machines: Autopen puts bill into law, and touches off debate
May 27th, 2011
12:42 PM ET
4 years ago

Rise of the machines: Autopen puts bill into law, and touches off debate

(CNN) - Despite what we you learned in school, the president doesn’t actually have to sign a bill before it becomes a law. An automatic pen perhaps can do it for him.

That’s what happened Thursday evening when it came time to put President Obama’s John Hancock on the extension of the Patriot Act, a controversial set of anti-terrorism and law enforcement measures passed in the wake of 9/11 that was set to expire Friday.

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Filed under: Patriot Act • President Obama
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. ConserFASCISTS

    Here we goagai with the senseless attacks. The guy can't be in two places at one time. I personally am against the Patriot Act. It's a law that gives way too much power to the government to invade your privacy.

    May 27, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Bush-43 had his Justice Department approve it. Interesting.

    May 27, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. obama victim

    and Barry extends another Bush policy......and by the way, did they ever close Gitmo?? oh yeah, how about that "hope and change"??

    May 27, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    The attacks are endless and stupid. I'm going to call it what it is – they would not do this with a white president. This has nothing to do with policy, this is just another senseless attack. Stupid is as stupid does.

    May 27, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. concerned liberal

    Bush – 2 war fronts and loves patriot act and rich tax breaks
    Obama – 3 war fronts and loves patriot act and rich tax breaks
    Thanks for the Change – not.

    May 27, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Our President is multi-tasker extraordinaire and avails himself of modern technology.
    The technology was available. It is legal. He used it. What is the problem here....as if we didn't know.

    May 27, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Bush-43 had his Justice Department approve it. Interesting.
    -----------------------------
    That occured back in 2005. In 2005 we had a Republican controlled Congress. No one objected to the Justice Department. No one gave any indication that it was put to use by Bush-43. Doesn't mean they didn't ever use it, though. The Bush-43 administration did everything their Justice Department determined was legal....without much delay. So much so that it almost seems as if the Justice Dep't approval was an afterthought. ("We better make sure this is legit.")

    May 27, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Didn't the Democrats and Obama spend the last 10 years SLAMMING Bush and the Republicans and yelling that the Patriot Act was wrong and bad??? And now they shut off debate, limit or prohibit amendments and debate and then pass it in a hurry at the last second? What kind of dirty politics is this? How can the American people believe ANYTHING they say after this???

    May 27, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. diridi

    pres. obama, come back home safely, and go to Joplin, because, GOP thugs are spinning bamboo at you for not going....just go to Joplin....give them helping hand...good luck, we "Love" you.....Obama2012.......

    May 27, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  10. FM

    What puzzles me is: Who is taking care of that "automatic pen"? Is this not a very sensitive issue than the person who is holding the keys/codes to where money is kept safe?? New tech. but full of risks as any human being can behave in inappropriate manner!

    May 27, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |