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Monday, June 24, 2013

It's on!

The Supreme Court granted certiorari to NLRB v. Noel Canning, the case which will examine the President's recess appointment power. The Court has also asked the sides to brief on whether the "the President's recess-appointment power may be exercised when the Senate is convening every three days in pro forma sessions." This should be one of the blockbuster cases of the next session.

Now back to Scotusblog's invaluable liveblog as the Supreme Court hands down decisions today.

Meanwhile, here is Scotusblog's Lyle Denniston's commentary at what is at stake in this case.
The specific issue is the scope of the Constitution’s grant of presidential power to put an official temporarily into office without Senate approval – a power that arises when the Senate is not on hand to review that appointment. Answering that could require the Court to define when the Senate, in a legal sense, goes into recess.

The issue goes as far back as recess appointments by George Washington, but it also is as new as the latest partisan jousting between President Obama and Senate Republicans over his appointment power. The gridlock over Obama nominees has threatened to make one government agency – the NLRB – unable to function.

While the Court will be focusing on constitutional questions, the outcome has real potential for giving either the Senate or the White House real tactical advantages in the ongoing confirmation wars. It could give a resistant Senate a chance to nearly take away the president’s recess appointment authority, or it could give the White House a way to get around filibuster-driven obstruction of nominees.


Jon Hunter said...

How stupid of the Republican's to fight this... to render a department inept by not giving an up or down vote is absurd.

If the SCOTUS rules against recess appointments, they are idiots.

Gahrie said...

The purpose of recess appointments was to allow the government to continue to function in a time when it often took weeks for Congressmen to travel between their homes and Washington D.C..

While the practice quickly became a way to try and circumvent the role of the Senate, that was not the original intention.

And of course, the Democrats never oppose or prevent Republican nominees from taking office.

Rick Caird said...

@Jon Hunter

For most of the Federal bureaucracies, we are better off if the bureaucracies do not function at all. However, I did get a kick out of your misuse of the word "inept". The NRLB is "inept" because it rulings do not advance the cause of labor relations. In which case, the
Republicans would be "inept" if they allowed the NRLB to continue making egregious rulings.. In fact, it would be best to declare the NRLB "inert".

Locomotive Breath said...

The Dems started the practice of pro forma sessions to prevent Bush recess appointments. Bush is a dummy because he respected that. When the Reps did it to Obama he gave them a big F U, and did it anyway.