35,000 Sign Petition Protesting Obama's Recess Appointments

Tuesday, 10 Jan 2012 11:59 AM

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More than 35,000 Americans have signed a petition protesting President Barack Obama’s recent recess appointments circulated by the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative legal organization.

"This issue has struck a constitutional chord with the American people and a growing number of members of Congress,” ACLJ’s Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow said in a statement.

"The move by President Obama is unprecedented and unconstitutional. No one is questioning the president's authority to make recess appointments, but those must occur when the Senate is in recess, which is clearly not the case here. We are calling on President Obama to abide by the Constitution and respect the separation of powers."

Last week, Obama named Richard Cordray as head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and made three appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. The move was controversial because Senate Republicans have been holding “pro forma” sessions of the Senate every three days in an effort to block recess appointments.

Democrats have labeled the sessions a sham. Congressional research has found there is some precedent for Obama’s move. President Harry Truman made two recess appointments in the two days between  congressional sessions, and President Theodore Roosevelt made recess appointments in the seconds between two sessions.

Republicans, however, maintain that recent precedent holds that recess appointments should not be made in a recess of less than 10 days. The Constitution does not specify the amount of time that constitutes a recess.


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