D.C. Circuit grapples with legality of Obama's recess appointments

, The National Law Journal


A federal appellate judge expressed skepticism about weighing in on a dispute between Congress and the White House over the constitutionality of the recess appointments President Barack Obama made earlier this year.

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What's being said

  • not available

    What I am seeing here is the Obama Administration is arguing that anytime the Senate breaks and stops working, it is in recess and the Lord and Master can make recess appointments at will. So if he does not like the way discussions go in the morning session over his nominees, when the Senate breaks for lunch, they are in recess and he has the power to make a recess appointment. What would have been his reaction had President Bush acted in that manner while Obama was a Senator?

  • Frank Cania

    Recess appointments have all but completely outlived their time. Necessary in a day when communication was slow and it took Senators days or even weeks to travel between DC and their home states, I'm struggling to think of a single position that would require a recess appointment given today's instant communications and high-speed travel. As the article points out, the recess appointment has been, and continues to be used as a way for Presidents from each party to bypass "advice-and-consent" and go right to "I'll appoint whomever I damn well please!" I don't think that's what the original intent was.

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