by Cassy Fiano | June 27, 2014 11:14 am
Things have not been looking great for the Obama administration lately, with scandal after scandal haunting them. And unfortunately for our Dear Leader, it doesn’t look to be getting better: the Supreme Court just unanimously ruled that his recess appointments were an abuse of power.
The high court’s first-ever case involving the Constitution’s recess appointments clause ended in a unanimous decision holding that Obama’s appointments to the National Labor Relations Board in 2012 without Senate confirmation were illegal. Obama invoked the Constitution’s provision giving the president the power to make temporary appointments when the Senate is in recess.
Problem is, the court said, the Senate was not actually in a formal recess when Obama acted.
Obama had argued that the Senate was on an extended holiday break and that the brief sessions it held every three days – what lawmakers call “pro forma” – were a sham that was intended to prevent him from filling seats on the NLRB.
The justices rejected that argument Wednesday.
Justice Stephen Breyer said in his majority opinion that a congressional break has to last at least 10 days to be considered a recess under the Constitution.
Neither house of Congress can take more than a three-day break without the consent of the other.
The issue of recess appointments receded in importance after the Senate’s Democratic majority changed the rules to make it harder for Republicans to block confirmation of most Obama appointees.
But the ruling’s impact may be keenly felt by the White House next year if Republicans capture control of the Senate in the November election. The potential importance of the ruling lies in the Senate’s ability to block the confirmation of judges and the leaders of independent agencies like the NLRB. A federal law gives the president the power to appoint acting heads of Cabinet-level departments to keep the government running.
It’s hard to understand how Obama could not have known that this was unconstitutional, being that he’s a constitutional scholar and all. Or is it that he actually does, in fact, blatantly abuse his power and cares not a whit about the constitution? The answer seems pretty clear.
Also see: The 25 Best Quotes About Liberals
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