Thursday, January 16, 2014

Supreme Court Skeptical of the President's use of his Appointment Power

President Obama and his successors in the White House appear likely to lose a landmark Supreme Court case on presidential appointments power. 
A majority of the high court's justices expressed skepticism Monday about presidents' claims that they can make appointments without Senate approval by claiming lawmakers are in recess.
But the justices didn't seem likely to go as far as a federal appeals court did last year in striking down nearly all recess appointments under the guise of a strict reading of the Constitution. 
Perhaps sensing a lost cause, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli argued vigorously that presidents must be able to fill out their administrations when the Senate is only holding "pro-forma" sessions every three days, as it has done in the past few years to block such appointments. But justices named by Democratic and Republican presidents saw things differently.
"You're latching on to the recess appointments clause as a way to combat that intransigence," said Chief Justice John Roberts, a nominee of President George W. Bush. The power of the president, he said, is intended to be used when the Senate is gone, not aggrieved. 
"It really is the Senate's job to determine whether they're in recess or whether they're not," said Justice Elena Kagan, who was nominated by Obama.
Read the rest of the article HERE.

In a separate article, Judge Scalia had this to say:
... Scalia shot back at an argument by U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli that the Constitution's recess appointments clause is ambiguous enough to validate Obama's temporary appointments. "It's been assumed to be ambiguous by self-interested presidents," Scalia said, to "oohs" and laughs in the court room.
Read the full article HERE and view a related video below:

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