Were Obama’s Recess Appointments constitutional?

Constitutional Attorney David Rivkin to speak at American Enterprise Institute

Published on 14 January 2012

by Staff


Washington, D.C. (USA)
OfficialWire PR News Bureau

The 2012 election year has just begun, and already controversies have swirled around a number of President Obama’s actions. Constitutional issues are at the forefront as the president seeks to improve his chances of reelection by delivering on his promises. But is the president violating the Constitution as he tries to implement his program of transformation? Constitutional attorney David Rivkin believes he is. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington D.C. will be facilitating a discussion on one of the recent controversies, President Obama’s “recess appointments.”

On January 4, 2012, President Obama made the following appointments: Richard Cordray as Director of the CFPB; and Richard Griffin, Jr., Sharon Block, and Terence F. Flynn as members of the NLRB. At the time of the appointments, the Senate was holding a series of “pro forma” sessions. The U.S. Department of Justice claims that the President has the authority to make these appointments, in essence, to decide based on his own analysis about when Congress is in session. David Rivkin and other constitutional law experts disagree.

“The Constitution allows the President to make recess appointments only when the Senate is in recess; it does not guarantee [emphasis added] him the right to make one or more of such appointments,” says Rivkin in his written testimony to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

According to Rivkin, the Office of Legal Counsel “takes what was meant and written as a gap-filler or safety valve – what to do when the Senate is out of town and unable to confirm a nominee to a vital position – and converts it into an affirmative grant of power that guarantees the President the right to make some number of appointments without the Senate’s approval.” This will weaken Congress’ power.

Join David Rivkin with three distinguished lawyers on discussing the key constitutional issues that are essential for understanding this controversy, the precedents from similar disputes in the past, and the implications for the future if either the President’s position or the opponents’ position is ultimately upheld by the courts.

The event will be held Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at The American Enterprise Institute, Twelfth Floor at 1150 Seventeenth Street, NW in Washington D.C. at 1:30 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public; however, seating is limited.

For additional information, contact Steffanie Hawkins at steffanie.hawkins@aei.org or 202-419-5212.

About AEI

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is a private, nonpartisan, not-for-profit institution dedicated to research and education on issues of government, politics, economics, and social welfare. AEI is a community of scholars and supporters committed to expanding liberty, increasing individual opportunity and strengthening free enterprise. AEI pursues these unchanging ideals through independent thinking, open debate, reasoned argument, facts, and the highest standards of research and exposition. Without regard for politics or prevailing fashion, we dedicate our work to a more prosperous, safer, and more democratic nation and world.

Source: http://www.officialwire.com/main.php?action=posted_news&rid=314398

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