Thursday, July 18, 2013

Republican Senate and the Nuclear Option - #4537 - Republicans Get Filibusted - Wall Street Journal (2) Third Court Overturns Obama Recess Appointments - Washington Times

Republicans Get Filibusted - Wall Street Journal - Senate Majority Leader Rich Trumka, er, Harry Reid held a gun to the head of Republicans on the filibuster, Republicans blinked, and President Obama and the AFL-CIO will now get their nominees confirmed for the cabinet and especially a legal quorum for the National Labor Relations Board. Cut through all the procedural blather and that's the essence of the Senate's "deal" Tuesday over the 60-vote filibuster rule. While Democrats didn't formally pull the trigger of the "nuclear option" to allow a mere majority vote to confirm nominees, they have now established a de facto majority-vote rule. Any time Democrats want to do so, they can threaten to pull the majority trigger. *** Republicans might as well acknowledge this new reality, even if it means admitting defeat in this round. GOP Senators should state clearly for the record that the next time there is a GOP President and a Democratic Senate minority wants to block an appointment with a filibuster, fuhgedaboutit. Majority rule will prevail.........Mr. Trumka and the White House now hope the reconstituted NLRB will reissue those rulings. Then they will argue to the Supreme Court that the case is moot because there is no longer any injury. But this is wishful thinking. The NLRB no longer has formal jurisdiction over the case now that it is in the courts, a precedent that no less than Justice Elena Kagan endorsed in 2010 in the New Process Steel v. NLRB case when she was Solicitor General. More broadly, the President has claimed a power to declare when the Senate is in recess, and he can always do so again. Thus the injury from illegal rulings due to illegal appointments could recur, which means the issue is far from moot. This is also a significant dispute about the separation of powers. If the President can decide on his own when the Senate is in recess, then the Senate's advice and consent power is essentially gutted.  Read more........

(2) Third Court Overturns Obama Recess Appointments - Washington Times - A third federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that President Obama violated the Constitution last year when he made recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, adding more weight to the case as it goes before the Supreme Court in the justices’ next session. The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, said that the president can only make recess appointments after Congress has adjourned “sine die,” which in modern times has meant when it breaks at the end of each year. That ruling rejects Mr. Obama’s own interpretation that he can make appointments whenever he deems the Senate to be unable to give him “advice and consent” on his nominees. Read more......

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