Obama makes four recess appointments of dubious legality

January 5, 2012 06:45

President Barack Obama made four recess appointments Wednesday, naming three new members to the National Labor Relations Board and appointing Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But the appointments may have been illegal, according to past administration statements. – The Daily caller


By Matthew BoyleThe Daily Caller


Obama’s own lawyers publicly stated in a 2010 exchange with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts that the president doesn’t consider a congressional recess official — meaning he can’t legally exercise his recess appointment power — until Congress has been gone for three full days.


“The recess appointment power can work in — in a recess,” Obama’s Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal said. “I think our office has opined the recess has to be longer than three days [to make an appointment].”


The Senate entered a recess on Tuesday, after having held a pro forma session to keep Obama from making any recess appointments. Another was planned for Friday.


By making the appointments just one day after the Senate went into a recess, Obama appears to breaking his own administration’s rules and, as scores of Republicans are quick to point out, decades of executive precedent.


According to The Hill, Obama’s move breaks from 20 years of precedent while violating a policy established under fellow Democrat and former President Bill Clinton’s administration.


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