Thursday, June 26, 2014

***UPDATE*** Here We Go Again: The Supreme Court of the United States will Interject Between the Executive and Legislative Branches of Our Government

*Breaking News* NO MORE PRESIDENTIAL RECESS APPOINTMENTS

By unanimous vote the United States Supreme Court sided with the United States Congress (who doesn't do their job), declaring that President's no longer have the authority to make recess appointments. 

From NBC News:

The US Supreme Court today limited a president's power to make recess appointments when the White House and the Senate are controlled by opposite parties, scaling back a presidential authority as old as the republic.
The case arose from a political dispute between President Obama and Senate Republicans, who claimed he had no authority to put three people on the National Labor Relations Board in January 2012 when the Senate was out of town.
He used a president's power, granted by the Constitution, to "fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate." But the Republicans said the Senate was not in recess at the time the appointments were made, because every three days a senator went into the chamber, gaveled it to order, and then immediately called a recess.

By a unanimous vote, the Supreme Court agreed that the Senate was not in recess, holding that it's up to both houses of Congress to define when they're in session or in recess. As a result of the decision, the Senate can frustrate a president's ability to make recess appointments simply by holding periodic pro forma sessions, a tactic used in recent years by both political parties.
The question, the court said, is whether the Senate had the capacity to act. It found that during the recess at issue, the court did have that power.
The stakes were no longer as high as they were when the case first came to the Supreme Court, given that the Senate has now agreed that a president's nominations need only 51 votes for confirmation.
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As we all hold our collective breathes awaiting the Supreme Court's decision on the "big three" (DOMA, Affirmative Action and Voting Rights) cases that they heard this year, we are getting a preview into the next term, and the cases the court will hear. It's just been brought to our attention that the Supreme Court of the United States, you know the Judicial Branch of our government has decided once again, to stick their noses into another inter-branch squabble. Up on deck this fall is NLRB v. Noel Canning. The high court has decided to take up the case that calls into question the legality of the long standing practice of recess appointments. 


You may recall our discussions here on the blog and on our weekly radio show. In early 2012, because the Senate refused to do their F^&KING JOBS, the President took matters into his own hands (as many other Presidents before him have) and made four recess appointments. Three were named to the National Labor Relations Board and one to the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau. 

According to SCOTUSblog (thanks Janitor, I am addicted now) the issue here is the issue:

Whether the President’s recess-appointment power may be exercised during a recess that occurs within a session of the Senate, or is instead limited to recesses that occur between enumerated sessions of the Senate

and 

Whether the President’s recess-appointment power may be exercised to fill vacancies that exist during a recess, or is instead limited to vacancies that first arose during that recess.

In our typical hyper-partisan environment, the Republicans cried foul and a law suit was filed.

(Because that's what we do when we can't get things our way)

During the winter break of 2011 before the new session began in January of 2012, the entire congress went on recess, but using a tactic that's been used by both Republicans and Democrats, the Senate remained in a "pro forma" session. Again, this has been used by both parties for a very long time. I don't know if this is the first law suit stemming from the issue, but something tells me it's not. 

So why in the hell would the SCOTUS decide to jump into this battle, at this time, is beyond me. 

That's all for now. I see that a decision may have come in on the Affirmative Action case - Fisher v. UT Austin. Standby for the Janitor's full break down. 

While we wait, give us your thoughts on the SCOTUS and their decision to intervene between the Executive and Legislative Branches of Government. 
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