The Constitution’s balance of powers is re-asserting itself. President Obama had been appointing officials that need Senate approval by doing so during holidays when Senators were out of town. Since the Constitution allows for temporary appointments when the Senate is in recess (back when the Senate was a part time body with long periods between sessions), the President claimed these short holiday breaks constituted a “recess,” even though the Senate was still in session.
The Supreme Court has ruled–unanimously!–that these appointments are illegal. The Judicial branch is reining in the Executive Branch in its attempts to exert its power at the expense of the Legislative branch. The Constitution still works. [Read more...]