The New York Daily News has the scoop on the fact that Bush has granted himself the unitary executive power to open mail without a warrant.
The President asserted his new authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on Dec. 20. Bush then issued a "signing statement" that declared his right to open people's mail under emergency conditions.
That claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it.
This, of course, mirrors the justifications the White House used to bypass the FISA courts to conduct warrantless wiretapping: that a circumstance would arise that would call for a warrant which might be delayed by using the accepted legal processes thus requiring an 'emergency' decision to proceed without a warrant in violation of the 4th amendment. The problem with that thinking is that it has been shown that courts actually will swiftly provide warrants when there are grounds to do so. This circumvention of existing law is just another power grab by Bush using the handy 'global war on terror' excuse.
Related: 'Construe you, Mr President'