There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the wake of a few recess appointments made by President Obama earlier this month.
It should be noted that- much like the “spending” police who were dead silent when we put two expensive, very privatized wars on the credit card- the same people crying into their tea about Obama’s trampling of the Constitution by appointing people while the Senate is in recess were equally unconcerned when Bush made a total of 171 recess appointments during his disastrous presidency. The number of recess appointments made by Obama so far? 32.
What should be more telling to you about the recess appointments made by Obama is who is complaining the most loudly. Loan shark Citibank’s lobbyists, for instance. So, did Obama appoint a Chief of Muslim Indoctrination while the Senate was out to play, or a Birth Certificate Concealment Czar? That would be a no- the Commander in Chief tapped Richard Cordray to head up a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and three people to serve on the National Labor Relations Board. But was that a shocking abuse of power that will lead to kindergarteners being forced to learn about gay math and gay phys. ed. in classrooms?
The Justice Department says no. In a January 6th memo released today, Assistant Attorney General Virginia A. Seitz concluded that “the president therefore has discretion to conclude the Senate is unavailable to perform its advise-and-consent function and to exercise his power to make recess appointments,” and that brief spurts of Senate activity during the period do not affect the President’s legal ability to make such appointments, as dictated by the Recess Appointments Clause of the Constitution.
The Justice Department did say it expects some legal challenges to stem from the recess appointments, and it’s believed that businesses subject to regulation by Cordray will be first in line to develop a sudden urge to protect the Constitution from liberal activist Presidents.