Honestly, I've been trying to find a way to square this in my head but it's been bothering me more and more lately.
Since before the President was even his parties nominee in 2008 we were hearing on and on about how he was a Constitutional Lawyer, a Con Law Professor, etc. Mentions of this have continued fervently for years now as a defense of various actions and things he's done and as a means of solidifying the constitutional legitimacy of his actions.
But here's what keeps bugging me: the recess appointment issue.
Barack Obama decided to declare, from the seat of the EXECUTIVE, that the Legislative Branch was in "recess" despite the legislative branch clearly and unquestionably proclaiming that it was in session.
A 10th grade civics student could've told you that was NOT a constitutional act. The foundational notion regarding the seperation of powers, and checks and balances, within our constitutional government is something we all learn very early on. The idea that one branch can deem the status of another branch is preposterous on the surface. The constitution establishes that the legislative branch makes it's own rules regarding how it functions internally, and the Executive does not have the power to just over ride those rules because it's an inconvienence to him.
And, just as everyone reasonably expected, the SCOTUS...including the 4 clearly liberal judges (two of which appointed by Obama)...unanimously declared the action unconstitutional.
On the flip side of this, and the reason this has continued to weigh on me, is the oath of office. Specifically this portion:
"...and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Now, the big question here is what "preserve, protect, and defend" means. Specifically, note, that it doesn't state anywhere in there "follow" or "adhere". So the question becomes can one be "preserving" the constitution or "protecting" it if one is actively not following or adhering to it? That, ultimately, comes down to individual interpritation. But it's what's been tripping me up.
I type all this because I keep coming to the same basic issue. It's unquestioned now that Barack Obama took a glaringly obvious, blatant, and clearly unconstitutional step by declaring that Congress was in recess despite their own claims otherwise and appointing individuals to the NLRB. So the question is...
Was the Constitutional Law Professor, whose credentials we've been continually reminded of for 6+ years now, simply so ignorant of constitutional law that he couldn't see and understand that this was an unconstitutional act and just assumed it was?
Was he so arrogant, and has such a twisted and fringe opinion regarding constitutional law, that he honestly believed firmly that this was Constitutional despite it being so blatantly unconstitutional that it was abjectly rejected across all judicial ideological lines?
Was he simply oblivious, giving no thought to the constitutionality of his action what so ever, and simply did what he felt he "needed" to do.
Was he so naive as to think that this action, so blatant that it was unanimously shot down, had at least a reasonable chance of being viewed as constitutional and so felt it was reasonable to challenge it with the belief that it had a legitimate shot of being upheld in the courts.
Did he, given his scholarly credentials, know that his action was likely unconstitutional but figured it was worth rolling the dice and get his people in place for years until the SCOTUS was forced to make a ruling, knowing that it was unlikely a reprimand would come from the congress so the slight chance of succeeding was balanced with little to no actual risk.
Did he fully understand that his actions were almost certainly unconstitutional but decided that fact got in the way of what he wanted, so simply ignored it and plowed ahead?
Something else? Because frankly, after a day of thinking about it and trying my best to be fair...I can't fathom an answer where either he was just painfully lacking in his understanding of constitutional law OR was fully understanding of it and just didn't give a ****. If you can come up with another answer, and I fully expect many of our left leaning individuals to be able to do so, please vote other and throw them my way.