Justices Voice Doubts on Obama Recess Appointments

January 14, 2014 By: seeta Category: 2016 Election, Civil Rights, Corrupt Legislature

From NYT:

The Senate recently overhauled its filibuster rules, which had frustrated the Obama administration and prompted its recess appointments. The Senate also confirmed a different slate of nominees to the labor board. But the question of whether the board’s ruling against the company should stand remains alive.

There were three questions before the justices on Monday, and the administration had to prevail on all of them to win. But it ran into significant headwinds on at least two.

The narrowest question was whether the Senate could be said to be in recess when it insisted it was not. Justice Kagan said “it really is the Senate’s job to determine whether they’re in recess.” On this point, she told Mr. Verrilli, “history is entirely on the Senate’s side, not on your side.”

A broader question was whether the vacancy had to have arisen during a recess. Several justices said that was the natural meaning on the phrase “all vacancies that may happen during the recess.”

When Mr. Verrilli countered that the phrase was at least ambiguous, Justice Scalia responded that very few people thought so. “It’s been assumed to be by ambiguous self-interested presidents,” he said.

The third question was whether the appointment had to be made during the recess between formal sessions. Those recesses used to be long. These days, Justice Ginsburg said, “the intersession recess might be momentary.”

Noel J. Francisco, a lawyer for the bottling company, said his client should prevail under all three arguments.

But Justice Ginsburg said that position has far-reaching implications. “Your argument would destroy the recess clause,” she said. “Under your argument, it is totally within the hands of the Senate to abolish any and all recess appointments.”

Judicial Overreach Redefines Presidential Appointment Power

February 03, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Consumer Rights

From Reuters:

In invalidating Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the three-judge panel issued a troubling decision. And one that should spark a response. For it shows us, yet again, that it matters who sits on our courts.

First, this decision flies in the face of 150 years of practice by presidents of both parties. It represents the judicial overreach that Republican politicians usually decry. There were a total of 260 intra-session recess appointments made between 1867 and 2000, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. President George W. Bush made 141 intra-session recess appointments, and Obama has now made a total of 26.

The court’s additional ruling that a vacancy must arise during a recess for a president to make a recess appointment is also contrary to 190 years of precedent – as another federal appeals court ruled in 2004.

The judges went well beyond the question they were asked to resolve, issuing a ruling that was far more sweeping than necessary, or expected. The court essentially eliminated the president’s constitutionally mandated power to make recess appointments. Yet is is ever more difficult to move nominees – even consensus nominees – through the Senate confirmation process.

Bush Appointee Judge Who Ruled Obama Violated the Constitution Is a Right Wing Judicial Activist

January 26, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Corrupt Judiciary

From PoliticusUSA:

The judge who ruled that Obama’s recess appointments violated the constitution is a Jesse Helms crony who overturned the convictions of Oliver and John Poindexter and sided with Bush on indefinite detentions.

Judge David Bryan Sentelle was first appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan. Sentelle history of right wing activism from the bench was detailed by Will Stabley, “However, Sentelle was promoted to the United States Appeals Court shortly after, as a circuit court judge, he voted to overturn the convictions of Oliver North and John Poindexter – two key Reagan aides who had been found guilty in the Iran Contra scandal. This seeming tit for tat between Sentelle continued as he appointed Kenneth Starr to the role which Starr would go on to use in his overtly aggressive impeachment case against democrat Bill Clinton…Sentelle then went on to side with republican George W. Bush on the issue of indefinite detention without the right to trial, in a controversial ruling which saw even a fellow judge on his own panel dissenting against him.”

Sentelle has been described as a crony of Jesse Helms. He is also a member of the Federalist Society a group that describes itself and its role as, “Law schools and the legal profession are currently strongly dominated by a form of orthodox liberal ideology which advocates a centralized and uniform society. While some members of the academic community have dissented from these views, by and large they are taught simultaneously with (and indeed as if they were) the law. The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities.”

In short, David Sentelle is the poster boy for right wing judicial activism.

Mainstream media reports of the story have quoted Sentelle’s ruling, but have failed to mention his right wing activism from the bench. The fact that Sentelle would rule in favor of Bush’s unprecedented expansion of executive powers on indefinite detentions, but would the precedent of 150 years of recess appointments illustrates the partisan nation of Sentelle’s judicial philosophy.