President Barack Obama violated the Constitution and engaged in an abuse of power by circumventing the requirements for recess appointments, Edwin Meese III, President Reagan’s attorney general, tells Newsmax TV.
These and other actions by Obama amount to “an ideological attempt to change America in a way that is quite different than our history, traditions, and values have always been,” Meese says.
Meese says Obama named three people to seats on the National Labor Relations Board and Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by claiming he was making appointments when the Senate was in recess.
But the Senate was not in recess when these purported appointments were made, Meese says. According to Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution, the Senate can’t go out of session for more than three days without the permission of the House, Meese says. The House did not grant that permission, Meese states.
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“Constitutionally, the only time a president can make a recess appointment is when there is actually a recess, obviously, and there is no recess during the time that he made these appointments,” Meese says.
As evidence that the Senate was in session when Obama made the appointments, Meese says, “They had a person calling it to order every three days. They actually conducted business during several of these sessions. They actually passed a bill which the president later signed during one of these sessions, which have been called by the press pro forma sessions.”
During the presidency of George W. Bush, the House held the same sort of so-called pro forma sessions, Meese says.
Yet “President Bush, recognizing the constitutional requirements and the fact that they were in session, did not try to make any appointments during those periods of time,” Meese points out. “So he followed the Constitution. Unfortunately, President Obama has not.”
Calling Obama’s appointments an unconstitutional act, Meese says, “I see it as an abuse of power, and I think it follows on a number of situations which we have seen during the last three years under this president.”
Meese cites the appointment of White House staff as czars who determine the actions of departments and develop policy.
The czars are “acting very much as supervisors . . . and that was done, I believe, to circumvent, again, the requirement of confirmation by the Senate,” Meese says.
“They don’t have to be confirmed if they are in the White House staff and, secondly, even though they are the ones determining policy, they are not required, again by tradition, to go before the House or the Senate and answer questions,” Meese adds.
Meese accuses Obama of essentially having “contempt” for the Constitution.
“I think that Obama comes out of the background of the Saul Alinsky School, which is essentially an anarchist type of approach in which the rules of the game are to be ignored in order to accomplish what you will,” Meese charges.
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. He is a New York Times best-selling author of books on the Secret Service, FBI, and CIA. His latest, "The Secrets of the FBI," has just been published. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via email. Go Here Now.
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