2007 Pulitzer Prize: Charlie Savage, National Reporting

Stories awarded the Pulitzer Prize

Bush challenges
hundreds of laws

(By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff, 4/30/06)
WASHINGTON -- President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.
Charlie Savage, a former reporter for The Boston Globe's Washington, D.C., bureau and current reporter The New York Times, was awarded a 2007 Pulitzer Prize for his work on presidential signing statements.
(By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff, 1/4/06)
WASHINGTON -- When President Bush last week signed the bill outlawing the torture of detainees, he quietly reserved the right to bypass the law under his powers as commander in chief.
(By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff, 3/24/06)
WASHINGTON -- When President Bush signed the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act this month, he included an addendum saying that he did not feel obliged to obey requirements that he inform Congress about how the FBI was using the act's expanded police powers.
(By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff, 5/28/06)
WASHINGTON -- The office of Vice President Dick Cheney routinely reviews pieces of legislation before they reach the president's desk, searching for provisions that Cheney believes would infringe on presidential power, according to former White House and Justice Department officials.
(By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff, 7/23/06)
WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is quietly remaking the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, filling the permanent ranks with lawyers who have strong conservative credentials but little experience in civil rights, according to job application materials obtained by the Globe.
(By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff, 8/27/06)
WASHINGTON -- Despite assuring Congress that career military lawyers are helping design new trials for accused terrorists, the Bush administration has limited their input on their key request, that any tribunals must give detainees the right to see the evidence against them, officials said.
(By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff, 10/6/06)
WASHINGTON -- President Bush this week asserted that he has the executive authority to disobey a new law in which Congress has set minimum qualifications for future heads of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
(By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff, 11/26/06)
ANN ARBOR, MICH. -- In July 1987, then-Representative Dick Cheney, the top Republican on the committee investigating the Iran-contra scandal, turned on his hearing room microphone and delivered, in his characteristically measured tone, a revolutionary claim.

Supporting material

3 GOP senators blast Bush bid to bypass torture ban
(By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff, 1/5/06)
WASHINGTON -- Three key Republican senators yesterday condemned President Bush's assertion that his powers as commander in chief give him the authority to bypass a new law restricting the use of torture when interrogating detainees.
Two lawmakers demand Bush obey laws
(By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff, 3/28/06)
WASHINGTON -- Two senior Democratic House members yesterday demanded that President Bush withdraw his assertion that he can ignore portions of the USA Patriot Act calling on him to provide periodic reports to Congress on how new law-enforcement tactics are being used.
3 Democrats slam president over defying statutes
(By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff, 5/2/06)
WASHINGTON -- Three leading Democratic senators blasted President Bush yesterday for having claimed he has the authority to defy more than 750 statutes enacted since he took office, saying that the president's legal theories are wrong and that he must obey the law.
Bar group will review Bush's legal challenges
(By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff, 6/4/06)
WASHINGTON -- The board of governors of the American Bar Association voted unanimously yesterday to investigate whether President Bush has exceeded his constitutional authority in reserving the right to ignore more than 750 laws that have been enacted since he took office.
Senators renew call for hearings on signing statements
(By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff, 6/16/06)
WASHINGTON -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter yesterday renewed his vow to hold an oversight hearing on the Bush administration's use of signing statements, saying he ``totally opposed" the president's practice of pronouncing himself exempt from obeying statutes even as he signs them into law.
Senator considers suit over Bush law challenge
(By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff, 6/28/06)
WASHINGTON -- The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Arlen Specter, said yesterday that he is ``seriously considering" filing legislation to give Congress legal standing to sue President Bush over his use of signing statements to reserve the right to bypass laws.
Bill-signing statements seen as vehicles to bypass laws, ABA panel finds
(By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff, 7/24/06)
WASHINGTON -- President Bush should stop issuing statements claiming the power to bypass parts of laws he has signed, an American Bar Association task force has unanimously concluded in a strongly worded 32-page report that is scheduled to be released today.
Specter takes step to halt Bush signing statements
(By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff, 7/27/06)
WASHINGTON -- Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter yesterday introduced legislation that would allow Congress to sue President Bush over his use of signing statements to claim the power to bypass laws, saying that lawmakers must push back against a White House power grab.
ABA urges halt to `signing statements'
(By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff, 8/9/06)
WASHINGTON -- The American Bar Association's House of Delegates voted yesterday to call on President Bush and future presidents not to issue ``signing statements" that claim the power to bypass laws, and it urged Congress to pass legislation to help courts put a stop to the growing practice.
Bush signings called effort to expand power
(By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff, 10/5/06)
WASHINGTON -- President Bush's frequent use of signing statements to assert that he has the power to disobey newly enacted laws is ``an integral part" of his ``comprehensive strategy to strengthen and expand executive power" at the expense of the legislative branch, according to a report by the non partisan Congressional Research Service.
Democrats pledge to scrutinize Justice's civil rights arm
(By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff, 11/17/06)
WASHINGTON -- Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday vowed to impose intense oversight on the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division next year, telling a Bush administration official in charge of the agency that the next Congress will scrutinize whether civil rights laws are being properly enforced.
GLOBE EDITORIAL: Bush vs. Congress
(Boston Globe, 5/10/06)
THE CHAIRMAN of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republican Arlen Specter, wants to force the Bush administration to explain and defend the president's practice of quietly declaring he will not obey laws passed by Congress. The public first became aware of this when Bush appended a ''signing statement" to the anti-torture amendment of Senator John McCain.