January 5, 2012
President Obama’s attempted recess appointments this week are blatantly unconstitutional and pose a threat to America’s constitutional structure, Heritage Foundation legal scholars Ed Meese and Todd Gaziano write in Friday’s Washington Post.
Meese and Gaziano explain:
President Obama’s attempt to unilaterally appoint three people to seats on the National Labor Relations Board and Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (after the Senate blocked action on his nomination) is more than an unconstitutional attempt to circumvent the Senate’s advise-and-consent role. It is a breathtaking violation of the separation of powers and the duty of comity that the executive owes to Congress.
The question of recess appointments is not a political matter and is not, as the White House suggests, about “gimmicks,” Meese and Gaziano argue. Instead, it’s about the fundamental framework of government our Founders designed to protect individual liberty:
If Congress does not resist, the injury is not just to its branch but ultimately to the people. James Madison made clear that the separation of powers was not to protect government officials’ power for their sake but as a vital check on behalf of individual liberty. To prevent future tyrannical usurpations of power, Congress must act to redress this serious threat to our liberty.
Heritage experts have been taking to the airwaves and print media since President Obama’s announcement of the appointments to explain their problematic nature.
By ensuring our experts’ principled arguments are available in leading outlets like the Washington Post, we can reach broad audiences who may otherwise hear only liberal voices–and change the nature of the debate.
What do you think of these “recess appointments?”