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Senate stays in session to block Bush recess appointments

  1. Nov 20, 2007 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/2007-11-20-1081248146_x.htm

    I love it!!! What a great idea.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2007 #2

    turbo

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    About time those idiots grew a set. The "unitary executive" idea needs to be throttled back so we can have a representative government.
     
  4. Nov 20, 2007 #3

    BobG

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  5. Nov 20, 2007 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    Last edited: Nov 20, 2007
  6. Nov 20, 2007 #5

    chemisttree

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    Of course, like any great idea, it will be copied. When the Republicans employ the strategy the Democrats will no doubt call it a constitutional crisis.
     
  7. Nov 20, 2007 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    They are trying to put an end to a constitutional crisis.
     
  8. Nov 20, 2007 #7

    chemisttree

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    Then I say, "Have a nice Thanksgiving!"
     
  9. Nov 21, 2007 #8

    BobG

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    It is a Constitutional crisis no matter which way you look at it.

    The intent of recess appointments was to keep important offices from being left vacant when vacancies occurred between Congressional sessions. In an era of difficult travel, Congress only met for 3 to 6 months a year. As soon as Congress was back in session, they would approve him or let his appointment expire (usually they approved him, but the first person appointed via a recess appointment, John Rutledge as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was never approved and became the only Chief Justice forced out of office).

    Nowadays, recess appointments have become a joke. Reagan made 243 in two terms, Bush(41) 77 in one term, Clinton 140 in two terms, and Bush(43) 167 in his first six years.

    It's just become a way to circumvent the Constitutional requirement to get Congressional approval for appointments.
     
  10. Nov 21, 2007 #9

    chemisttree

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    This is exactly how I predict it will be spun on the flip side. This will be portrayed (when Hillary is president) as a right the president has always enjoyed...
     
  11. Nov 21, 2007 #10

    BobG

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    It does have a long historical precedent. Still....

    Congress could just decide not to pay recess appointees, per the 1864 Army Appropriations Act (naturally, the law had to hitch a ride with a more critical bill in order to get approved). There's only a few exceptions in which a recess appointee can receive pay (one of the exceptions being when Congress refuses to either approve or reject a nominee, which is why most recess appointments get paid - the refusal to bring so many nominees to a vote is a problem in itself).

    Or, Congress could immediately bring the Congressional Session to an end as soon as they reconvene. That would terminate every recess appointment. Congress could then open an entirely new session. There's nothing besides tradition that dictates how long a Congressional session lasts or how many entirely different Congressional sessions could exist even in one day, let alone a two year period. In fact, when Congressional sessions were typically a lot shorter, you could have more than one session just in one year because Congress had to be reconvened unexpectedly for a special session after they had already officially closed the session in anticipation of not meeting again until the next year.

    Of course, the counter to that would be for the President to make new recess appointments during every inter-session break. The President and the Congress could spend all day going back and forth between closing and opening new sessions and making new recess appointments during the breaks between closing a session and opening a new one until one branch finally broke down from exhaustion.

    In fact, something very similar has happened in history. A special session wound up lasting so long that it was time to start the new Congressional session before they were done. They banged the gavel to bring the old session to a close, seconds later banged the gavel to start the new session, and during the interim Teddy Roosevelt made over 160 recess appointments.

    You can escalate silly games to all sorts of levels if both branches are willing to make a mockery of the Constitution by parsing the words into the most bizarre interpretations possible.

    http://www.law.northwestern.edu/lawreview/colloquy/2007/2/
    http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/50801.pdf
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2007
  12. Nov 21, 2007 #11

    chemisttree

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    That would be fun to watch. Regarding the TR appointments, was the Presiding Officer a Texan?
    I can imagine it in my mind... "Ahh heahbyy duhclah this'ere Congrusss t'bee a'jurn'd," (gavel smacks), zip, zip, zip (160 appointments made) "and, uhh... duhclah the next'un t'bee open'd on up!"
     
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