John Yoo Defends Senate’s Authority to Sit Around and Do Nothing

Yes, it is hysterical, in general, that John Yoo has finally discerned some limits to the President’s authority under Article II now that Obama used a recess appointment to get around Senate obstruction.

The president’s power over what are known as “recess appointments” stems from Article II of the Constitution, which grants him the authority “to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.” The Constitution does not define what a “recess” is — the Senate adjourns for short periods of time, and the question becomes when an “adjournment” becomes long enough to turn into a “recess.” In the past, attorneys general and presidents have thought that an adjournment would have to be longer than at least ten days to become a “recess.”

Particularly given that Yoo has embraced a rather expansive notion of what Youngstown says about Presidential authority regarding activities that aren’t defined under existing statute.

I’m amused, too, by the way Yoo trolls for clients at the end of his column.

Most importantly, private parties outside government can refuse to obey any regulation issued by the new agency. They will be able to defend themselves in court by claiming that the head of the agency is an unconstitutional officer, and they will have the grounds for a good test case. They can call Richard first, me second, for advice!

I hope, for NRO’s sake, they get a cut if Yoo does go on to consult with the Chamber of Commerce, which has threatened to sue.

But I’m most amused by what Yoo has to defend to make his case. John Yoo, arch conservative, defends the right of Senators to sit around doing nothing but reading the paper on the taxpayer’s dime.

It is up to the Senate to decide when it is in session or not, and whether it feels like conducting any real business or just having senators sitting around on the floor reading the papers.

I’ll grant you, the Senate is pretty ineffective and it usually feels like they are, in fact, not doing anything. I’m sure they do have the legal authority to just sit around scratching their collective arse. But I do find it rather cute that John Yoo has come out of his hole to make an inspired defense of Article I authority based on Senators’ rights to do absolutely nothing.

This constitutional lawyer business really is a noble profession.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

19 Responses to John Yoo Defends Senate’s Authority to Sit Around and Do Nothing

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz Hot Fussin. Been Killing it for hours. Only Claude Rains knew
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz I saw Shawn Holley on the CN type of media tonight, and not in a way that brought any joy to my memory of Johnnie Cochran. RIP.
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Hot Fuss by the Killers is still one of the best albums, or whatever you kids want to call things these days, of the last decade.
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @foolintheforest The latter.
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @cnbintucson Indeed.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @MasaccioFDL Wait, @rortybomb ?? I love that guy.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @cnbintucson "think there is any danger to McCullough from DOJ investigation?" // None, sadly.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @theurbansherpa If only you knew anything about theater it would all make sense! ;p
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz The Killers are, well, killer. Nuf said.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz I am not positive it is okay to borrow a term from @dcbigjohn but I'm a bit reckless. So don't fence me in Bama's https://t.co/qco4mgVEvM
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @MasaccioFDL You know, I actually believe in "the system" but have issues with gross perversions thereof. And we got that here. Hugely.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @LemonSlayerUS Take that back. Gun had blood on it on 8/19 (it looks like). DNA was run by 8/14.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
January 2012
S M T W T F S
« Dec   Feb »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031