View Poll Results: With regards to not in recess "recess" appointments...

Voters
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  • Ignorant of Con Law and thus assumed it was constitutional?

    0 0%
  • Arrogant and Fringe on Con Law and thus firmly believed it constitutional

    2 13.33%
  • Oblivious to the constitutional implications and acted without thinking of it

    1 6.67%
  • Naively felt it had a reasonable chance of being constitutional, so gave it a shot

    1 6.67%
  • Realized likely unconstitutional, but gamble due to little fear of reprucussions

    8 53.33%
  • Realized almost certaintly unconstitutional, but did it anyways

    0 0%
  • Other

    3 20.00%
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Thread: Which is more likely regarding recess appointments

  1. #1
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    Which is more likely regarding recess appointments

    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?

    OR

    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?

    OR

    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.

    OR

    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.
    OR

    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.

    OR

    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?

    OR

    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.
    Last edited by Zyphlin; 07-02-14 at 10:54 AM. Reason: Updated with another option following input

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    Re: Which is more likely regarding recess appointments

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    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?

    OR

    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?

    OR

    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.

    OR

    Did he, given his scholarly credentials, know that his action was likely unconstitutional but figured it was worth rolling the dice and force the SCOTUS 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.

    OR

    Did he fully understand that his actions were likely unconstitutional but decided that fact got in the way of what he wanted, so simply ignored it and plowed ahead?

    OR

    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.
    lots of words saying very little.
    He was challenging the trick the Senate was using to say they were in session. He lost. But the challenge was a needed thing and while partly functional and mostly political it was a move that truly was something that was not intentionally unconstitutional.

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    Re: Which is more likely regarding recess appointments

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    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.
    I think it may have been a combination of arrogance and frustration. I believe Obama has skirted the line between consitutional and unconsitutional for so long that he thought he could actually do the same with this. Many of the lines he has pushed with the ACA have worked in his favor and I think he thought the same thing here. I do believe he thought it would get ruled in his favor.

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    Re: Which is more likely regarding recess appointments

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    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?

    OR

    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?

    OR

    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.

    OR

    Did he, given his scholarly credentials, know that his action was likely unconstitutional but figured it was worth rolling the dice and force the SCOTUS 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.

    OR

    Did he fully understand that his actions were likely unconstitutional but decided that fact got in the way of what he wanted, so simply ignored it and plowed ahead?

    OR

    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.
    Trying to get around the fact that Congress wasn't actually doing any business, but somehow weren't in recess. That's been basically admitted to be a political ploy to stop him from making recess appointments. Seriously, read the transcripts of the "sessions" - Gavel in, pray, declare "we aren't doing anything today," gavel out. Personally I can't wait for the next President (probably a Republican) get the same treatment and see you "try to be fair" about it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jetboogieman View Post
    This issue has been plowed more times than Paris Hilton.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oborosen View Post
    Too bad we have to observe human rights.

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    Re: Which is more likely regarding recess appointments

    Quote Originally Posted by Sababa View Post
    lots of words saying very little.
    He was challenging the trick the Senate was using to say they were in session. He lost. But the challenge was a needed thing and while partly functional and mostly political it was a move that truly was something that was not intentionally unconstitutional.
    So your answer was he truly thought his action was, or likely was, constitutional?

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    Re: Which is more likely regarding recess appointments

    Quote Originally Posted by rocket88 View Post
    Trying to get around the fact that Congress wasn't actually doing any business, but somehow weren't in recess.'
    Which doesn't answer the question as to whether or not he thought his action was or wasn't likely constitutional, which is largely the basis of this question.

    If he, given his credentials, reasonably suspected it was likely unconstitutional but was upset that "congress wasn't actually doing any business" and wanted to get around it then fine...that would be the final option.

    If he, given his credentials, somehow DIDN'T suspect it was likely unconstitutional and was upset that "congress wasn't actually doing any business" and wanted to get around it then fine...that would be one of the first options.

    I don't deny at all that he was upset with what congress was doing and thus was attempting to get around that fact in some fashion. The question is more whether or not he had a good idea that his means of getting around it was constitutional or not.

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    Re: Which is more likely regarding recess appointments

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNextEra View Post
    I think it may have been a combination of arrogance and frustration. I believe Obama has skirted the line between consitutional and unconsitutional for so long that he thought he could actually do the same with this. Many of the lines he has pushed with the ACA have worked in his favor and I think he thought the same thing here. I do believe he thought it would get ruled in his favor.
    Basically this, I'm in the second to last option category.

    I can't fathom how a man with his constitutional law credentials could POSSIBLY think this was a constitutional act, or even likely to be deemd as such, unless their views on constitutional law is on the "lunatic fringe" scale of things. I figured, AT BEST, he thought he may get a couple of Justices possibly going his way which would at least help cover up much of the political fall out (which lets be serious, there wasn't likely to be much as this isn't the thing that fires up social media of the media). But he knew he wasn't going to have any legitimate reprucussions from this issue, so what was the harm of gambling a bit. As you said, he's toed the line a number of times with success and the other times his executive branch has been thwarted 9-0 has gotten little coverage or reaction, so why NOT take the gamble. He was frustrated and annoyed and wanted to send a message that he had the big stick at the time, so despite likely realizing his argument had barely more than a snowballs chance in hell he tried it anyways.

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    Re: Which is more likely regarding recess appointments

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    I don't deny at all that he was upset with what congress was doing and thus was attempting to get around that fact in some fashion. The question is more whether or not he had a good idea that his means of getting around it was constitutional or not.
    I suspect there comes a point when one party does everything they can to ruin you and in the process hold up what you think are necessary measures to make this country better where you decide things have to be done and if you're told "no" later, then so be it. So I suspect the answer you are looking for is this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    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.
    And, let's face it...isn't that how our country operates today, in most areas?

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    Re: Which is more likely regarding recess appointments

    Personally, I believe Obama benefits from the disaster that was the Bill Clinton impeachment and aftermath. Had Billy Boy not been "stogie-ing" and sperming a White House intern, it's likely that Obama would never have felt he could arrogantly get away with his actions because it's also likely that Obama would have suffered through impeachment proceedings for any number of his unconstitutional actions. Republicans in a highly partisan House back in the 90s pretty much put impeachment on the back shelf for at least one generation if not more. As a result, what possible risk could there be for any personally popular President to ignore the constitution.
    "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." William F. Buckley Jr.

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    Re: Which is more likely regarding recess appointments

    Quote Originally Posted by Slyfox696 View Post
    So I suspect the answer you are looking for is this:
    Thanks for the answer. That, generally, is my guess on it as well. I have trouble thinking someone that schooled on the constitution could even concievably find a way to think this was in any way, shape, or form likely to be upheld by even one justice let alone by a majority. Whlie I don't buy the "centrist" ideological lean of the president some suggest, I don't think he is SO on the fringe as it relates to constitutional law that he thought something was clearly constitutional when not even one of the four liberal leaning justices on the court would likely agree with it.

    And, let's face it...isn't that how our country operates today, in most areas?
    Sadly, yes. I'd say it's how our country has operated for some time. Sadly, the past six years hasn't been much of a Change from politics as usual as it relates to this.

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