Obama’s Recess Appointments


Isn’t it curious that he District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against the constitutionality of President Obama’s recess appointments. Mr. Obama has made a total of 32 recess appointments because of obstruction by Senate Republicans. This ruling by the appellate court is unprecedented. In order to challenge these appointments, the Senate held brief “pro-forma” sessions to avoid “recess”. Senate Republicans argued that Obama’s appointments were unconstitutional because the Senate had not formally recessed even at times when most members were away. So now we have this ruling by three judges of questionable motivation and no real filibuster reform in the Senate. I wonder how Harry Reid feels about this turn of events?

Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said: “The decision is novel and unprecedented. It contradicts 150 years of practice by Democratic and Republican administrations. So we respectfully but strongly disagree with the ruling.”

The ruling was made by David B. Sentelle, Chief Judge, Karen Lecraft Henderson and Thomas B. Griffith. All three judges were appointed by Republican administrations. Judge Sentelle was appointed by Ronald Reagan, and Judges Henderson and Griffith were both appointed by George W. Bush. Judge Griffith also advised the Senate during the impeachment trial of President Clinton. Is it a coincidence that all three judges in this case also have roots in southern red states? Apparently, Senate Republicans found a way to stack the deck against the White House.

As of recent reports, the White House will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. Stay tuned.