When a Robot Signs a Bill
By Brian Resnick
Yesterday, the president was in Hawaii but the recently passed fiscal-cliff deal was in Washington. How could the presidential signature be affixed to the bill to make it law? Obama signed it via a robot, the autopen.
Here’s a brief history of the gadget. (Did you know Thomas Jefferson was the first president to use it?)
Just want to point out that this robotic pen is literally signing its John Hancock (look closely at the photo).
“Although Bush set up the legal argument for autopen bill signing, he never used the device to enact legislation. Obama was the first to do so, signing an extension of the PATRIOT Act via autopen while in Europe. (Kind of fitting that a robot re-signed into law an act that represents the tenuous nature of technology, privacy, and the role of government.)”
THIS IS SO COOL.