Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Constitution

I think it is an appropriate time to give some consideration to the following excerpt, from Article 2, section 2 of the Constitution, that document beloved of all right wingers:

"He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law"

Please observe that this section does not say, "with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, if they feel like getting off their damned asses long enough to do their job."  The President is required by the Constitution to appoint a new Justice in the case of a vacancy, and the Senate is required to deal with it in a forthright manner, not turn it into a partisan political vendetta.  Any Senator who refuses to do this is violating his sworn Constitutional duty, as anyone that can read English can see; and any Senator who refuses to do this is demonstrating that, despite endless blabbing about original intent, he cares absolutely nothing about the Constitution.

As if we were in any doubt about how much these jackasses really care about the Constitution.

And let's remember this part of Article 2, section 2:

"The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session."

It is high time that Obama make it clear that, if Republican Senators carry out their threats to damage the government, he will make use of this power, the minute they leave town to pander to their hate-filled base.  And if that happens, I suggest he pick a Justice just as far to the left as Scalia was to the right.  If such a character even exists.

6 comments:

Jerry Critter said...

I don't believe the term "lame duck" is anywhere in the constitution. Too bad republicans. Now do your fucking job!

Zog said...

" he will make use of this power, the minute they leave town to pander to their hate-filled base. " - Green Eagle

Except for National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning.

In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that, if a recess lasts less than three days, the president cannot use the power to make a recess appointment. The GOP can simply keep Obama from using the power by having a pro forma session every three days.

The Canning ruling was unanimous. If a president could make an appointment during any recess - even an overnight one - the Senate would no longer be able to advise and consent, thus effectively nullifying Article 2, Section 2.

Green Eagle said...

So, one more Republican dirty trick to subvert the Constitution and the functioning of our government, and you are all for it, Zog.

I guess if people like you were to get your way, there would be no possible solution to the problem of the Republican party other than putting them down like the mad dogs they are.

Zog said...

I don't like this dirty trick - and holding short sessions every three days where nothing gets accomplished is a dirty trick that the Republicans were using even before Canning. The ruling just made sure the trick worked.

[Note: It's a fact that Canning would prevent your solution to the problem from being implemented. I don't like that it does block it, but it blocks it anyway. I'd love for the Republicans to do their job of considering the nominee, whoever it may be. I'd also love to have a pet unicorn, but we know both know it's not going to happen.]

On the other hand, consider what would happen if (a) the president could make a recess appointment if the Senate merely recessed overnight and (b) the president were Republican and the Senate were majority Democratic.

I have no doubt that, in that case, the president would merely wait until 6 pm, or 7:12 pm, or 9:53 pm, or whenever the Senate shut down for the night, make the appointment under the recess power, and get the nominee in for a full year without giving the Democrats a chance to block him/her. Then repeat this for a full year.

It is physically impossible for the Senate to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (366 in leap years), since the members have to get some sleep sometime.

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In effect, we're left with two options, both of them bad:

(a) Keep Canning, and give Republicans the power to block everybody when they control the Senate.
(b) Overturn Canning, and give Republicans the power to put anybody they want in power when they control the White House. Imagine if Reagan had been able to put Robert Bork on the Supreme Court for two years, followed by Bush the Elder keeping him on for four more. I don't want a single person to have that much power.

I think choice (b) is scarier than choice (a), but I might be wrong. Other than voting the Republicans out of a Senate majority, I don't know what a solution could be.

ez said...

When the Republicans have their ersatz session of one, why not have a democrat there to make a quorum call? No quorum, no session, so a recess appointment would work?

Anonymous said...

He should say nothing, just do it.