Thanks. Obama.

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.

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Thanks. Obama.

    • He deserved this spanking from the SCOTUS. After giving it some thought, I’m left wondering if he made that decision out of frustration or whether he was trying to get Congress to address the whole appointment process on their own. I’d love to sit down and ask him about that.

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  1. After having a bit of time to mull this over, I think this decision is a lot less important than the screechy headlines yesterday would have it (and they sho-nuff did love calling Obama’s activity “illegal”, didn’t they?) Frankly I think you are overthinking this.

    The Senate’s blessedly done away with appointment filibustering, so the recess stuff becomes less important. Judicial appointments never really mattered, since they were only valid ’til the end of the year. So what this is really about, is the NLRB being in business–and the GOP can essentially invalidate that agency if they get a majority in the Senate.

    And… there has to be some kind of work around for that kind of BS. Probably means waiting until Democrats control both sides of the legislative branch, so that the NLRB can be reformulated so it doesn’t depend upon a quorum of folks appointed by the President.

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    • I considered Reid’s actions in regards to the filibuster as well. The one thing that doesn’t sit well with me is the Republicans can change the rules if/when they gain control of the Senate. I think it’s a long shot, but I don’t put anything past the ideological driven. I didn’t think they would shut the government down, but they proved me wrong then.

      I could be over thinking this, but I also think we’re sailing in uncharted waters with the far right having so much control and influence over the course the GOP decides to pursue. I would love to look back at this years from now and ask myself, “What were you thinking?” I just don’t have that confidence in the people in DC anymore.

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  2. To me this is much ado about nothing. Just your basic turf war. The President is a Democrat and Democrats control the Senate, so I don’t see the partisan angle.

    Article 1 Section 5
    Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

    That’s not going to change.

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    • I’m thinking long term. The Republicans will eventually regain control of the Senate, and only then will we see whether or not the Democrats decide to give back what they’ve been receiving. I don’t see either party letting up with the one upmanship. I hope I’m wrong.

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      • It runs in cycles and it’s just a matter of whose ox is getting gored. I’ve seen these flips more than once. The outs always complain about the ins until they become the ins again and then the other side complains. I’ve seen the obituary written for both the Republicans and the Democratics 2-3 times each. They’ll both outlive me and you.

        They’ve been playing politics with Supreme Court nominations at least since Harold Carswell. They probably did it before then but that’s the first one I remember. Every time the pendulum swings the ins have to get even for the last round when they were the outs. So we wind up with what we have now, which is the law is whatever Anthony Kennedy says it is, in most of the big cases. He’s probably the most powerful man in the government. C’est la vie, though.

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