President Obama rips up the Constitution. With his “recess” appointments of Richard Cordray as the first chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three members of the NLRB, this president has done something that even George W. Bush did not attempt.
The problem is that the Senate is not in recess. There is a pro forma session held every business day. According to the White House, their counsel declared the Senate in recess. Funny, I thought it was up to the Senators to make that decision. The Wall Street Journal has the best take on all this:
“The last clause of Section 5 of Article 1 of the Constitution says that “Neither House” of Congress can adjourn for more than three days “without the Consent of the other” house. In this case, the House of Representatives had not formally consented to Senate adjournment. It’s true the House did this to block the President from making recess appointments, but it is following the Constitution in doing so. Let’s hear Mr. Obama’s legal justification.
Democrats had used a similar process to try to thwart Mr. Bush’s recess appointments late in his term when they controlled both the House and the Senate. Prodded by West Virginia’s Robert C. Byrd, who has since died, Majority Leader Harry Reid kept the Senate in pro forma session. Some advisers urged Mr. Bush to ignore the Senate and make recess appointments anyway, but he declined. Now Mr. Reid is supporting Mr. Obama’s decision to make an end run around a Senate practice that he pioneered.”
First it was the assassination of U.S. citizen Anwar al Awlaki based on nothing more than Mr. Obama’s allegation that he was a terrorist. I’ve written about this elsewhere, so I won’t repeat it here. And others (notably Robert Knight and Aaron Dykes) have commented as well. But the utter contempt for the Constitution displayed by this administration is breathtaking in its scope.