President Obama's recent appointments
SBLichtman at ship.edu
Sun Mar 28 10:22:20 PDT 2010
I ask what might be a foolishly obvious question ...
Why does the president have any separation-of-powers duties to respect the extraconstitutional procedures of either or both houses of Congress? The president has the explicitly granted power to make recess appointments. He must respect the Senate's constitutional prerogatives, but why does he have a duty to respect their so-called traditions?
I understand that Obama is making a politically provocative decision which may poison his relationship with Congress -- insert your own joke about shooting a corpse here -- while at the same time shoring up a base which wants to see him stand up to those GOP meanies.
But what's the big <expletive> constitutional deal?
P.S.: Is he really still O'bama if St. Patrick's Day was last week?
Dr. Steven Lichtman
Assistant Professor and Pre-Law Advisor
Department of Political Science - 413 Grove Hall
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu [conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of Gerber, Scott [s-gerber at onu.edu]
Sent: Sunday, March 28, 2010 8:09 AM
To: conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: President Obama's recent appointments
According to the attached NYTimes story, President O'Bama recently made a number of recess appointments. Here's the story:
I'd like to focus on Craig Becker's recess appointment to NLRB. According to the NYTimes story, the Senate voted last month 52-33 not to end the filibuster over his nomination, yet the president appointed him anyway. The primary constitutional arguments in the president's favor seem to be (1) the Constitution permits him to make recess appointments and (2) there seems to be majority support in the Senate for confirming Mr. Becker. The primary constitutional argument against the recess apointment of Mr. Becker is that the Senate--including very recently--refused to end the filibuster over his nomination.
I'd be grateful for any thoughts the list may have on this issue. For the record, I have no horse in this race, I'm simply asking a constitutional law question.
Scott Douglas Gerber
(on leave during 2009-10 at Brown University's Political Theory Project)
Ella & Ernest Fisher Chair in Law and Professor of Law
Ohio Northern University
Ada, OH 45810
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