Several media outlets have reported on the balance of power question related to recess appointments of federal judges by the Executive Branch. USA Today calls it “an epic balance-of-powers battle between the executive and legislative branches that only the judicial branch can resolve.” The Supreme Court on Monday will hear “what’s been billed as the marquee case of the high court’s 2013 term” that “will give the justices a chance to decide if George Washington and many of his successors violated the Constitution they swore to uphold.” USA Today notes that the case “pits President Obama’s brazen appointments of labor and financial watchdogs against Senate Republicans’ unprecedented efforts to block or delay his nominations,” and seen from a long-term perspective, it “pits all presidents against Congress, and common practices against the Constitution. John Elwood, an attorney who advised Republican presidents on the use of recess appointments, is quoted saying, “This is one of the great originalist cases.”
In a related story, McClatchy news service reports that a “routine labor dispute at a soft drink bottling company in Yakima, Wash., has now bubbled up to the Supreme Court, posing a serious challenge to presidential powers.” In what McClatchy reports as a longer than usual oral argument Monday, justices will weigh the appointments that presidents can make during a Senate recess. It’s a unique civics test that has drawn the interest of politicians, states and business leaders, not to mention constitutional scholars of all stripes. “On its face, it looks like a little tool, this tool about recess appointments,” Nicholas Rosenkranz, a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, said at a Federalist Society briefing, “but . . . it shifts the balance of power, because appointments are a big bargaining chip.”
This is an interesting case that could have far-reaching implication for the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches.
The full USA Today story can be read here.
The full McClatchy story can be read here.