Skip to comments.Even Obama Agrees that the Senate Was Not in Recess
Posted on 01/05/2012 6:41:02 PM PST by Qbert
Defenders of President Obamas unprecedented recess appointments of Richard Cordray to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three members to the National Labor Relations Board argue that the Constitution is vague on when Congress is in session and that the President can therefore take a functionalist approach that considers whether the Senate is available to vote on nominations.
Yet even the President doesnt buy that argument.
Proof is that on December 23, President Obama signed a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut. He said that Congress passed the bill in the nick of time and that it was a make-or-break moment for the middle class in this country. The compromise extension really did come through at the last minute, but in a different sense: most members of the Senate had already departed Washington, D.C. Thats why on December 17, the Senate agreed to an order instituting pro forma sessions, of the kind the President now claims are actually recess. (See the PDF of the Congressional Record here.) But it was at one of those sessions, on December 23, that the Senate passed the payroll tax cut extension that the President signed into law later that day. (Again, see the Congressional Record entry.)
Of course, if the Senate was actually on recess that day, it couldnt have passed the bill, and the President couldnt have signed it into law. (The President has not claimedat least, not yetthat he can enact laws that have not passed Congress.) But in that case, the President chose to respect the Senates own view as to whether it was open for business.
And he was right to do so. The Constitution empowers the Senate to determine the rules of its proceedings, and thats just what the Senate did by scheduling pro forma sessions at the end of the year. That much of the Senate was out of town is irrelevant, as passage of the tax cut extension demonstrates. Indeed, the Constitution specifically provides that, although it states that a majority . . . shall constitute a quorum to do business in the Senate, a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members. In this way, the Constitution specifically authorizes rump sessions that, if necessary, can recall the rest of the body to conduct vital business.
Nothing even suggests that the President gets to overrule Congress on this point. To the contrary, the Constitution prevents either chamber from adjourning for more than three days without the consent of the other and, while it requires that all bills and resolutions be presented to the President for signature or veto, carves out a sole exception for votes on a question of adjournment.
It is little surprise that an Administration which finds the Constitution flexible enough to support an individual mandate for individuals to purchase health insurance would also argue that its seemingly clear text is sufficiently pliable to empower the President to overrule Congresss decision that its actually in session.
But to make that argument less than two weeks after embracing the very opposite position, that takes chutzpah!
Sooooo.l..who’s ever going to stop this destructive creep?????? Congress? Supreme court? Voters?
What is the name of the crime Obama knowingly committed, what are the penalties, and who must now enforce it?
The twilight of a Republic: The law and the Constitution mean what the government says it means, when the government says it
Obama's word for it would be "audacity."
Heritage always brings in the gold.
Santorum says the Senate should sue him:
Another reason to Impeach loose cannon Obama, the desperate Bolshevik.
So all the libs just ecstatic about this, would they be this happy if Bush would’ve tried this?
Who is going to stop him? Hopefully the voters in the 2012 election.
The first order of business performed at the new opening of Congress should be to take Obama’s appointments and discharge them. The next order of business should be to inpeach Obama for the knowing violation of the Constitution and the oath of office he took.
Tell them flat out that they have no job.
Do I expect that? I do not.
Give it some time.
Nothing good can come of this, other than his replacement.
It seems like Saturdays debate would be a good time to broach the topic.
Newt broached the topic tonight on Sean Hannitys TV show. Newt said what Obama did was clearly unconstitutional. You can expect it to be a hot topic at the debates.
Just stop to realize who would be the "jury" in an impeachment of Obama.
I wish people would just listen to what Obama says. He just said in so many words that he will govern without Congress. Just like he promised to “fundamentally transform” America. He’s doing it and with lots of help.
This IMHO is part of Obama’s ghetto interpretation of the Constitution: the Constitution means whatever Obama thinks it means... at the moment.