“King” Obama has gotten his wish: His crony-led Justice Department – the same one that has lied repeatedly over the Fast and Furious guns-to-Mexican drug cartels and resulted in the deaths of American Border Agents – has released an opinion (legally binding only on the executive branch) that states that the recent “recess” appointments made by Obama are legal under the Constitution. What hogwash.
Under the Constitution a president certainly may make appointments to Senate-consent positions if the US Senate is in recess. The question here is whether the Senate was in recess and the DOJ’s Asst. AG Virginia Seitz believes that they are. She cites the need for the Senate to hold formal sessions in which they can receive communications from the president as a basis for this.
My problem is that the Senate has been holding pro forma sessions. They have been able to receive communications even if they are only in session for one minute. They have been in technical sessions to prevent what Obama has done: Appointment by fiat.
The President is supposed to make appointments that go through the advise-and-consent (or non-consent) of the Senate. The Constitution doesn’t say whether that session needs to be formal, pro forma or any other type of session. Recess appointments are supposed to be used only when the Senate is not in session.
By making his appointments to the Credit Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board, Obama has effectively said that he is King and he doesn’t need to have the Senate approve his choices. There is a catch here, however, and its one that maybe has been forgotten by Obama in the rush to put somebody in a slot before the Senate can vote on them. The recess appointment is only valid until the end of the current Senate’s session.
From the Constitution, Article Two, Section 2, paragraph 3: The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.
This could mean that the people Obama has just appointed could be right back out of office in about 6 months unless their confirmation hearings take place in that timeframe. And that may be impossible to do as the budget battle is looming large once again. The President will have to go begging for money from Congress at the State of the Union soon (and ask for the debt ceiling to be raised, I have no doubt) and these appointments by fiat are going a long way toward making Republicans say no to anything Obama wants to do. But hey, when you’re King you make even your legislators do what you want, right?
Isn’t this the sort of attitude we fought a revolution to get away from? Are we so enamored of these cults of personality that we are willing to give up what was so hard-fought and won? “Give me Liberty, or give me Death” wasn’t just a slogan used by the first Americans, it was the core belief of the Founding Fathers. I hope that we haven’t fallen so far that we forget we don’t want men ruling over us, but laws. It is one of the many Roots of the Nation.