Senator Lee: Cordray Appointment Shows Disrespect for Constitution

January 5, 2012

WASHINGTON - The President’s decision yesterday to bypass the Senate and make four controversial recess appointments shows an alarming disrespect for Congress and our constitutional system of separation of powers.  Article II, Section 2, paragraph 2 of the Constitution provides that such appointments must receive the “Advice and Consent” of the Senate.  Article II, Section 2 elsewhere provides that the President may “fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate,” but Presidential practice and Senate precedent has long established that this authority does not extend to brief breaks such as the one used by the President yesterday to make his ill-advised appointments.
The Senate’s role in providing advice and consent is an important function under our constitutional system and I take very seriously my role to carefully consider the individuals nominated by the President.  Unfortunately, the President has not shown the same level of care and respect for the Constitution and the role of the Senate.  I join Leader McConnell, Senator Grassley, and others interested in upholding the separation of powers contemplated by the Constitution and call for the President to make public the legal and constitutional rationale for his hasty decision to ignore the Senate’s role in considering such nominations.