“The president’s ends don’t justify his means. Politics should not trump the principle that we – and particularly the president – operate under the rule of law and the bounds of the Constitution. When a president disregards the facts and shows such contempt for this principle, it is more than disappointing, it threatens the foundations of our republic. Leaders who believe they need not abide by the rules and the law have led more than one republic down the road to tyranny.”
In the uproar over President Obama’s unconstitutional “recess” appointments (Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three new members of the National Labor Relations Board), one fact has gotten too little attention.
Attempting to justify the president’s violation of the Constitution and 90 years of legal precedent, presidential spokesman Dan Pfeiffer claimed that the president can exercise recess appointment powers because the Senate’s pro forma sessions—conducted since mid-December—are merely “a gimmick” during which “no Senate business is conducted and instead one of two Senators simply gavel in and out of session in a matter of seconds.”