Click over to whatever website you visit most frequently for get news. Find the third headline on the page. Make sure that the headline is in your post.
“Justices skeptical of Obama’s recess appointment claim” (The Washington Times, Jan. 13, 2014, web edition)
As the justices take up this case today, there are a lot of questions to consider. There are many pros and cons. The basic issue seems to be whether or not this power to make appointments was used to advance a political agenda, rather than to make a necessary or urgent appointments.
Another question they will have to consider is what constitutes a recess of Congress. In the early days of government, being a Congressman or Senator was a part-time job, with sessions lasting only a few months, thus there was a distinct and long recess. (Ah, those were the days!)
Today, to circumvent the “being in recess” situation, Congress remains in session with a skeleton crew, passing minor legislative actions, of little significance to the general population, like naming streets and bridges or other special interest bills presented to Congress. So this too could be considered a political ploy.
I don’t like to see the petty games of politics supplanting the spirit of the Constitution, which seems to be coming under fire far more frequently. Times do change, but the intent of the Constitution with regard to balance of power is pretty clear. While the Constitution is open to interpretation from time to time, the boundaries have been pushed too far on a number of occasions by the Judiciary, extending into areas that legitimately belong to Congress or the states. Then we have the Chief Executive also trying to operate as often as possible by using executive orders rather than the time-honored and Constitutional legislative process.
These infringements can become accepted practice if the Supreme Court makes decisions which allow imbalance to continue. It is pretty clear that President Obama made these appointments because he did not want to subject them to Congressional or public scrutiny.
Yes, there are pros and cons, but the bigger issue is looking back to the document which has made our country unique among world government systems. It is essential that the Court reassert that the balance of power be re-calibrated, with politics kept out of governing Constitutionally.