Perhaps the most unfortunate moment for presidential authority was a comment by Justice Stephen G. Breyer that modern Senate-White House battles over nominations were a political problem, not a constitutional problem. Senators of both parties have used the Constitution’s recess appointment provisions to their own advantage in their “political fights,” Breyer said, but noted that he could not find anything in the history of the clause that would “allow the president to overcome Senate resistance” to nominees.
Background: obviously, this is about the Supreme Court reviewing the President’s abuse of the recess appointment privilege – well, admittedly, it’s about what I’m calling the President’s abuse of the recess appointment privilege. The problem for the Obama administration is that the above quote suggests that even some of the liberal members of the US Supreme Court may be agreeing with me on that. This may end up being very, very bad for the executive branch’s ability to make any recess appointments, ever again*… (more…)