The Convenience of Government

President Barack Obama has decided to appeal last fall’s ruling of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that invalidated his “recess” appointments of three people to the NLRB.  The Court ruled that since the Senate wasn’t in recess, the appointments were unconstitutional and so invalid.

Obama’s grounds for appeal would be laughable if the matter weren’t so serious.  He

urged the Supreme Court to rule that presidents have broad authority to make certain appointments without Senate approval.

This from a Lecturer in Constitutional law.  Presidents have the authority to “make certain appointments” that the Constitution gives them, and not a particle more.

He, through his Solicitor General Donald Verrilli,

defended the recess appointment powers of the president, disputing the court’s conclusion that it can only be used in the period between formal sessions of the Senate.

Sorry, Ace, “in recess” means in recess, not on lunch break, and not any period a president finds convenient.  What part of the DC Circuit’s writing on this is unclear to you?  After all, it was written in plain language with simple words:

…the inescapable conclusion that the Framers intended something specific by the term “the Recess,” and that it was something different than a generic break in proceedings [an adjournment].

The natural interpretation of the [Recess Appointments] Clause is that the Constitution is noting a difference between “the Recess” and the “Session.”  Either the Senate is in session, or it is in the recess.  If it has broken for three days within an ongoing session, it is not in “the Recess.”

Then ObamaVerilli included in his brief this gem:

If the appeals court ruling was left to stand, it would “dramatically curtail” the president’s authority[.]

Well, yeah.  That’s sort of the point, given how far you’ve overstepped your authority.

Finally, this laugher:

The ruling “threatens a significant disruption of the federal government’s operations[.]”

You just don’t seem to get it, Ace.  The convenience of government does not take precedence over the Constitution.

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