Question X-A, Political Law, 2017 Bar Exam

Under the enrolled bill doctrine, the signing of a bill by both the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate and the certification by the secretaries of both Houses of Congress that the bill was passed on a certain date are conclusive on the bill’s due enactment. Assuming there is a conflict between the enrolled bill and the legislative journal, to the effect that the enrolled bill signed by the Senate President and eventually approved by the President turned out to be different from what the Senate actually passed as reflected in the legislative journal.

(a) May the Senate President disregard the enrolled bill doctrine and consider his signature as invalid and of no effect? (2.5%)

(b) May the President thereafter withdraw his signature? Explain your answer. (2.5%)

Suggested Answer:

(a) Yes. Under jurisprudence, in one case involving the withdrawal of the signature of the Senate President in an enrolled bill which then passed into law after signing by the President, it was held to be valid resulting in the bill being not duly enacted and therefore did not become law.

(b) Yes. Under the same jurisprudence earlier mentioned, the withdrawal of the signature of the President on a bill which became a law was held to be valid resulting in the same not having passed and thus did not become a law. It was stated therein that perpetuating the error would be to sacrifice truth to fiction and bring about mischievous consequences not intended...

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