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Appeals Court Spurns Obama’s UnConstitutional Recess Appointments

May 20, 2013 by  

Appeals Court Spurns Obama’s UnConstitutional Recess Appointments

Just as the Obama Administrationā€™s public reputation is at its lowest ebb over unConstitutional surveillance and discriminatory targeting of political enemies by government agencies with unfettered power comes a decision in which an appeals court ruled the President himself violated the Constitution when he made appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) while the Senate was taking a break.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia handed down the 2-1 decision last Thursday, invalidating not only the Presidentā€™s appointment of Craig Becker to the NLRB in March 2010 — when the Senate was in a two-week intrasession recess — but also some of the NLRBā€™s subsequent actions in which he participated.

The Senate had blocked Beckerā€™s nomination to the same position only a month earlier. In all, Obama filled 15 vacancies by recess appointment during the March 2010 break.

Last weekā€™s ruling is similar to one made against Obama in January of this yearĀ by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which invalidated the Presidentā€™s appointments of Sharon Block, Terence Flynn and Richard Griffin to the NLRB at a time when the Senate was adjourned for Christmas break. The President has appealed that ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The NLRB had argued Obamaā€™s position that the definition of ā€œrecess,ā€ as stated in in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution (the ā€œRecess Appointments Clauseā€), would allow the President to unilaterally make appointments that normally require Senate ratification, so long as the Senate essentially wasnā€™t assembled — and, therefore, not available to conduct business.

But the court recognized the absurdityĀ of that argument, noting:

And therein lies the implausibility of the [NLRBā€™s] unavailable-for-business definition. As explained above, the Board argues that a recess occurs any time members of the Senate do not have a duty to attend, the Senate chamber is empty, and the Senate is unavailable to receive communications from the president.

ā€¦The problem with this definition is that the Senate fulfills these criteria whenever its members leave for the weekend, go home for the evening, or even take a break for lunch. In each of these instances, the senators have no duty to attend, the Senate chamber is empty, and the body cannot receive messages from the president.

Defining recess in this way would eviscerate the divided-powers framework the two Appointments Clauses establish. If the Senate refused to confirm a presidentā€˜s nominees, then the president could circumvent the Senateā€˜s constitutional role simply by waiting until senators go home for the evening.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), whoā€™s been among the Presidentā€™s most vocal critics over last weekā€™s multiple scandals involving discrimination and abuse of power by the Executive Branch, told FOX NewsĀ the two rulings illustrate the egregiousness of what he called an ā€œunprecedented power grabā€ by the President.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • http://Google John Hudson

    Can anyone tell me why the personnel appointed are still in their position?

  • Ron r

    The power grab is in congress and the reich wing of the body not wanting to govern but only obstruct. The fact that they held their little meeting on obstruction his first term shows they are not patriots as you and others like to call them but domestic terriost like you and others who agree with them. I guess you idiots showed that person of color his place.

    • Jeff K.

      So we are terrorists and the progressives like you Ron are angels? Hahaha! ….right.

  • Les C

    The government that governs least governs best. The less these power hungry politicians do, the better off “we the people” are. My hats off the the 3rd district court.

  • Don miller

    I agree with John Hudson why are these people still in these positions if they were appointed illegally your or I wouldn’t still be there how many times does this president have to break the law before some senator or congressperson grows some balls and start the impeachment prosess is the whole world afraid of this man he puts his pants on the same way you and I do so he should be held accountable like the rest of us when we break the law

  • http://personallibertydigest Carol

    Why are these people still in office making illegal decisions

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  • juan j uzeta

    Let the truth be known about the over abusive power of the united states gov.


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