“Reid Backs Obama on Recess Appointments”
This is the same Reid who relied on the constitutionality of non-recess procedural rules to block Bush appointments, back when he needed to assert their constitutionality to get done what he wanted to get done.
Constitutionality that shifts depending on the party in power, or that shifts depending upon the current context, deconstructs the very idea of a foundational, grounding document around which the rule of law derives its power.
If the law can be changed depending on the circumstances, it isn’t a law. It’s an impotent placeholder intended to give the appearance of a rule of law.
Andrew McCarthy, NRO:
In 2007, Reid kept the senate in pro forma session in order to block President Bush from making recess appointments — particularly, the eminently qualified Steve Bradbury’s appointment to head DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel. “I had to keep the Senate in pro forma session to block the Bradbury appointment,” Reid recounted in 2008. “That necessarily meant no recess appointments could be made.
The Senate has similarly been holding pro forma sessions over the current holiday recess to keep the session technically ongoing, thus blocking — or at least they thought they were blocking — Obama, just as Bush was blocked. But Obama ignored the move, reasoning that such brief sessions (held roughly every three days and lasting only seconds) should not count. Despite the position he took during the Bush years, Reid today said, “I support President Obama’s decision.” His rationale, if you can call it that, is that while he was just trying to block recess appointments, Republicans are blocking such appointments for the specific purpose of re-legislating the Dodd-Frank law.
The theory of separation of powers is that the respective branches have a powerful incentive to protect their turf and will therefore police each other’s encroachments. Apparently … not so much. In any event, since the president is in the hardball business, he can only be stopped (or at least discouraged) if Congress uses its constitutional tools in kind. It is worth remembering that the government cannot function if the House declines to raise and spend money, and Obama cannot get anyone appointed from here on out unless the Senate, once it is in session, can muster 60 votes. So my question is: are Republicans just going to grouse about this, or are they actually going to do something about it?
As Mark Levin noted, we are in the midst of a Constitutional Crisis. Yet we have hamstrung ourselves by giving leftist ideologues the controlling power over the Senate and, by way of the President, the Justice Department.
Which raises the question: what does a citizen do to protect his liberties if impeachment is off the table, save finding standing and bringing suit against the governmental agencies themselves? Because as Boehner and McConnell have shown repeatedly, they don’t have the political will to fight back.