01/08/2006: More Constitutional De-Construction underway...
...and yet continuing Usurpation of Powers taking place under the bAdmin.
The Booman Tribune reports in this piece: Why Not Just Dissolve the Senate?:
”Much has already been written about President Bush's 17 recess appointments announced on Thursday, many of them extremely controversial. It's an old trick meant to get around those pesky Senate confirmation hearings.
Based on precedent, the appointments would expire at the conclusion of the next session of the Senate at the end of 2006. But this president, in an interpretation that can only be termed bizarre, is insisting that a one-minute ceremonial pro forma meeting of the Senate that occurred on Tuesday, January 3rd, represented the opening meeting of the second session of the 109th Congress, which he interprets as giving life to his recess appointments until the end of 2007 rather than 2006.
Largely lost amidst the outrage being expressed over the appointments themselves was an unusual twist reported without elucidation by the Associated Press and carried by hundreds of newspapers:
Under the Constitution, the president may avoid the Senate confirmation process and make appointments while the chamber is in recess. Such appointments usually are short-term, expiring at the end of next congressional session.
But because the Senate held a pro forma session Tuesday and then adjourned, the White House contends the second session of the 109th Congress has begun. Therefore, the White House believes Bush's nearly 20 recess appointments are valid until the following session, which won't conclude until the end of 2007.
You might well be excused if you did not know that the Senate was in session this past Tuesday. It wasn't covered by the media. No business was conducted. No legislation was enacted. The roll was not called. If it had been, there would have been no Senators present to answer "here."
[This procedural process] was included to prevent either chamber from blocking legislation through its refusal to meet.
In other words the White House is interpreting a procedural, entirely ceremonial, one-minute meeting of the two houses of Congress, designed to preserve the independence of the two bodies from one another, as giving the president a green light to make a two-year end run around the Constitutionally mandated role of the Senate to "Advice and Consent" in the appointment of Federal officials.
Moreover, the Bush interpretation that three-day technical adjournments between pro forma ceremonial meetings of the Senate constitute actual meetings and adjournments between which recess appointments can be made flies in the face of all precedent, as well as all mainstream interpretations of the Constitution.
Doesn't the Bush administration consider itself one that believes in a strict constructionist interpretation of the Constitution?
If the Senate allows the Bush administration's view that these are valid two-year recess appointments to prevail, they will be ceding unprecedented (and very likely unconstitutional), power to the Executive Branch -- not to mention abrogating their own right and responsibility to "advice and consent."
Perhaps even some Republicans in this most partisan of Congresses will finally stand up to this White House's blatant usurpation of the powers bestowed upon it by our Constitution. If not it may be time to ask whether we still live in a democracy.
The bAdmin making Constitutional interpretations which “flies in the face of all precedent, as well as all mainstream interpretations of the Constitution.” Extra-Constitutional views emanating from THIS President?
Shocking! Disturbing! Extraordinary! But somehow *vaguely familiar.* Where have I heard this all this before??? Hahahahha!
Karen on 01.08.06 @ 07:26 AM CST