The recess challenge
A federal appellate court ruling that President Obama's January 2012 “recess” appointments of three National Labor Relations Board members were an unconstitutional end run around Congress is a victory for the Constitution.
The Framers intended recess appointments to fill vacancies only after Congress — then able to meet just a few months a year because traveling to Washington took so long — had finished a year's work and couldn't confirm nominees.
But particularly in the past 60 years or so, presidents have stretched that power to evade Senate unwillingness to confirm certain nominees, and lawmakers have gaveled in and out of brief “pro forma” sessions to evade adjourning for the year — as they were when those NLRB appointments were made.
The White House has been mum about appealing the ruling. But eventual Supreme Court review is likely. And it's difficult to imagine that Mr. Obama can prevail. Nor should he.
And if supposed constitutional scholar Obama didn't know better than to misuse recess appointments, he's no constitutional scholar. If he did know better, he committed an abuse of power that rises to the level of an impeachable offense.
Only when this president is held fully accountable for trashing constitutional separation of powers will the issues raised by his recess appointments be fully resolved.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- U.N. Watch: Another jaded ‘inquiry’
- The revolving door: Washington’s ‘gift’
- Expanding Medicaid: Gov.-elect Wolf embraces a false premise
- Sunday pops
- Pension reform should not be linked to a natural gas extraction tax
- Holiday Gift Club: The spirit of the season
- Saturday essay: A manger’s light
- The regulatory state: EPA picks a fight
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- Union ‘fairness’: The dues racket
- Greensburg Tuesday takes