Are the President’s recess appointments constitutional?

On January 4, 2012 President Barack Obama made four recess appointments. On that day, he appointed three people to serve on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and installed Richard Cordray as the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CRPB).

These “recess appointments” were immediately challenged as unconstitutional since the House was not officially in recess.

On February 1, 2012 Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) held a hearing on the recess appointments. Legal experts disagreed sharply on their legality.

On February 21, the American Enterprise Institute sponsored a debate: “Were the President’s Recess Appointments Constitutional?”

Constitutional Attorney and political commentator, David Rivkin joins a panel including Morton Rosenberg, Walter Dillinger and Douglas Kmiec for a debate at the American Enterprise Institute.

Followup, on March 29, 2012, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued H.Res. 604 saying that President Obama’s recess appointments were not legitimate.

For more information on David Rivkin, visit To book an event or make inquirires, please email or call (804) 353-5999.

Sources: AEI, C-SPAN,, The Hill


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