Leaning heavily upon a long history of Congress and presidents finding ways — sometimes clumsy — to make the federal government work, and perhaps silently wishing for a day when they might do so again, a sharply divided Supreme Court on Thursday embraced a practical constitutional solution to filling temporary vacancies in U.S. government posts. Refusing to strip presidents of nearly all power to make such appointments, as four dissenters would have, the majority set some limits but still kept that authority mostly intact.
The decision did nullify a handful of President Obama’s appointments because the Senate was not technically in recess when he made them, and thus the ruling raised doubts about whether the actions those officials took while holding such appointments remain valid. But the scope of that defeat for Obama in particular and presidents in general seemed quite small.
I just got this from Candice Miller-R, Mi-10:
Miller: Supreme Court’s Decision Confirms President’s Constitutional Overreach
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Candice Miller (MI-10) issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the President’s overreach when making ‘recess appointments’ while Congress is in session:
The separation of powers enshrined by our founders in the Constitution is vital to preserve our democratic republic. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court stood up for the Constitution and the rule of law by striking down the unconstitutional recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board made by President Obama. The Court also invalidated decisions made by a board comprised by unconstitutional action.
This is further confirmation that the President has, in many instances, been operating well beyond the limits of the Constitution. This ruling is an important and overdue judicial check on overreach by this President and any future President. In the coming weeks, I intend to support further actions in the House to defend the Constitution, protect our cherished system of government based on the separation of powers, and make very clear that every American is equal under the law.
Those ‘pro-forma’ sessions January 2012 (to avoid recess appointments) worked perfectly for the repubs.