Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday that President Barack Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board are unconstitutional for one fundamental reason — the Senate is not formally in recess. The Kentucky Republican is one of several senators who are challenging the appointments in court, saying they violate the separation of government branches, which can be an impeachable offense .
“I think the president is unaware that the Constitution has checks and balances — he gets to appoint people, but they are supposed to be approved by the Senate,” Paul told Fox News’ Neal Cavuto. “Now, he is now defining that we were in recess, but that is news to us, because the senators that are here don’t think we ever were in recess.
“So we don’t think the president should have that power — we think it is unconstitutional and illegal,” he said. “And we’re going to fight him in court.”
Paul said what Obama has done with the labor board appointments is a clear violation of the separation of the legislative and executive branches of government.
“For high-ranking appointees, they are supposed to be approved by the Senate — so I think it shows a certain lawlessness that this president basically says he will grab up the law and tell everybody else what the law is,” the senator said. “But, really, the power was supposed to be divided between the legislative branch and the executive. So what he is doing sets a bad precedent.
“If we continue on this precedent, tonight at 9:00, he could appoint a Supreme Court justice — that is a terrible precedent,” Paul said. “And I think that kind of lawlessness, we don’t want to live under that.”
Cavuto asked whether the violation of the separation of government branches is an impeachable offense.
“Well, I think we have to have the courts determine whether or not he did violate the Constitution. We can actually make that accusation — and we are — and we think it is illegitimate, what he has done, and we will fight that in court,” Paul said. “There is already a court case that is beginning. I will have a friend-of-the-court brief that goes along with that challenging any decisions by the National Labor Relations Board as being illegitimate because he disobeyed the Constitution in appointing these people.”
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