Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that President Obama’s appointments to the NLRB during a pro forma recess was unconstitutional. Thanks Obama.
From the Washington Post:
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that President Obama exceeded his constitutional authority in making high-level government appointments in 2012 when he declared the Senate to be in recess and unable to act on the nominations.
Obama made appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) at a time when the Senate was holding pro forma sessions every three days precisely to thwart the president’s ability to exercise the power.
“The Senate is in session when it says it is,” Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote for the court, stressing that if the Senate is able to conduct business, that is enough to keep the president from making recess appointments.
But the court stepped back from handing Obama — and those who will follow him in the Oval Office — a more substantial loss. A bare majority of the justices upheld, in theory at least, the president’s ability to make recess appointments when the Senate is indeed on extended break, saying history weighs in favor of a broad power.
Now, we’re going to have never-ending sessions of Congress that will spend even more time and taxpayer money to accomplish absolutely nothing. The court ruled properly in my view, but they also validated the tactic of never recessing Congress to avoid having to ever confirm a president’s pick for appointed positions. The reason any of this came to pass is because Republicans put secret holds or threatened filibusters to NLRB appointees that Obama submitted to fill vacancies on the board.
If you think this is a one-time event, I have some beachfront property in Denver at the foot of the Rocky Mountains to sell you. You’ll have 360 degree panoramic views that any other American would be envious of. Imagine having a beachfront view from one side of your home and the majestic Rockies from the other side.
A simple and easy fix to this would be to legislate a 120 day period for the incoming president to select and submit his picks for appointed positions. Given the nature of our election system, I seriously doubt any general election candidate goes into the November election with nary a damn clue as to who is the front-runner for appointed positions. From the time of the election to inauguration, a 120 day period would give a grand total of 6 months to select and submit candidates. After that 120 day period, the Senate would get a maximum of 60 days to vote on the selections. If the Senate refuses to act within that period, then there should be a mechanism in place to call the votes at that time. I don’t know of anybody who would want to field half a team to compete in any sport, so why should we accept the leader of our country fielding half a team to run the world’s sole superpower? If these actions were going on in any other country, we’d be butting into their business with the quickness to tell them how they should fill all their government positions to allow democracy to run as it’s supposed to.
It’s time out for the perpetual gridlock in DC, and this Supreme Court decision should be the catalyst for Americans to demand better from DC. These people run for office knowing there’s a job that has to be done when you win an election. I’m tired of people getting elected to do a job and instead, simply beginning the campaign to stay in office. I have not voted for any incumbent elected official that didn’t do the job they ran to do. I won’t change either. Those who go to DC to line their pockets don’t get a vote from me. Those who go there simply to remain in office don’t get a vote from me. As of lately, there haven’t been incumbents that I could outright support as a person I wanted to send back to DC.