The Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Imperial presidency, Thursday, ruling that he exceeded his authority in making recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board when the Senate was still in (pro-forma) session.
In a unanimous decision, the high court sided with Senate Republicans and limited the president’s power to fill high-level vacancies with temporary appointments. It was the first-ever Supreme Court test involving the long-standing practice of presidents naming appointees when the Senate is in recess.
In this case, Obama had argued that the Senate was on an extended holiday break when he filled slots at the NLRB in 2012. He argued the brief sessions it held every three days were a sham that was intended to prevent him from filling the seats.
This means that the appointments made during the period between April 2011 to August 2013 lacked a quorum to enact rules or enforce federal labor law. The Right To Work Foundation has argued that 1,700 decisions made during that time frame would potentially become invalid.
“This is a significant victory for the separation of powers”, the ACLJ’s Jay Sekulow said on Fox News, Thursday morning.
As for the appointees who illegally made decisions for two years, “it’s as if they were never there,” Sekulow said. “The decisions made during that time frame are null and void.”
“What you’ve got is basically a reversal of those decisions because they had no authority to make those decisions in the first place,” Sekulow said.
However, even if the Supreme Court strikes down the recess appointments as unconstitutional, rendering void almost 1,700 rulings as a result, Mr. Obama’s new board majority may try to rubber-stamp all of the outrageous decisions made while the board was operating unconstitutionally.
You see, Mr. Obama just recently installed four new members to the board with the help of weak-kneed Senate Republicans led by Sen. John McCain. This gives former union attorneys a board majority. One of the new members, Nancy Schiffer, a top lawyer for the AFL-CIO union, has testified before Congress in favor of card-check legislation and has a radical view of union organizing similar to Mr. Becker‘s. She has even argued that secret-ballot unionization elections are “inherently coercive.”
“Today, the Supreme Court invalidated President Obama’s unlawful abuse of the President’s recess appointments power. President Obama ignored the plain text of the Constitution and attempted to make unilateral recess appointments—circumventing the checks and balances of confirmation—when the Senate was not, in fact, in recess. Today, a unanimous Court rightly rejected that presidential abuse of power. This marks the twelfth time since January 2012 that the Supreme Court has unanimously rejected the Obama Administration’s calls for greater federal executive power.”
In a new ad released Monday, The fabulous Koch brothers hit back at Dingy Harry and one of his crony billionaire backers, the anti-Keystone Pipeline Greenie Tom Steyer. The ad, paid for by American Commitment, a 501(c)(4) group that is part of the Koch non-profit network, is running online only, and is being pushed in Louisiana, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Michigan.
The ad, “Steyer Infection,” juxtaposes Harry Reid’s denunciation of the Koch brothers with a narrative about Reid’s relationship with billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer and his brother Jim, who runs a ratings service for children’s products.
“This is about two very wealthy brothers who intend to buy their own Congress,” it shows Reid saying in a speech earlier this month on the Senate floor. “You see when you make billions of dollars a year, you can be I guess as immoral and dishonest as your money will allow you to be.”
In one of the ads Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has put on the air this year, a thirtysomething actress stands against a white backdrop and looks into the camera. “People don’t like political ads,” she says plaintively. “I don’t like them either. But health care isn’t about politics, it’s about people, and millions of people have lost their health insurance, millions of people can’t see their own doctors, and millions are paying more and getting less.” At the close, a narrator urges viewers to “tell Mary Landrieu to stop thinking about politics and start thinking about people.” Such ads have also run against Mark Pryor in Arkansas, Mark Udall in Colorado, and incumbent Democratic House members in Arizona, Florida, and New Hampshire.
Ads like the “white ad,” as it has become known, are not new to 2014. They are part of a sustained assault against Obamacare mounted with the help of the donor network organized by Charles and David Koch and the array of social-welfare groups it funds.
So far, I have heard nothing in response to my email to Washington Post reporters Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson about their possible coordination with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Henry Waxman or other Democrats in writing the article about the Keystone pipeline that I critiqued here and here. I will follow up with them in due course. In the meantime, I have written the following letter to Whitehouse and Waxman:
A news anchor had been doing a ‘Wednesday’s Child’ weekly segment for many years, and upon her retirement was remembering one little boy who had been difficult to place, but had finally found a home with a wonderful, loving family.
During her 25-year run of the feature, she shared the stories of some 350 children and 75 percent of them found adoptive families, according to the outlet.
According to the Huffington Post, the segment, which was taken over by anchor Gloria Campos in 1989, featured children who had been in foster care and were looking to be placed in permanent homes.
Back in 2007 she featured the story of Ke’onte Cook who was eight-years-old at the time. The first home she was able to get him placed in didn’t work out, so two years later she gave him another opportunity to be a part of the segment.
The now 14-year-old Cook was adopted and has been living happily with those parents, Carol and Scott Cook, ever since. He surprised the anchor by walking on the set to give her an on-air special thank you.
What does the average kid do when he finds a twenty dollar bill on the ground? Most would go blow it on toys and candy. To an 8 year old that’s like a million bucks.
8 year-old Myles Eckert found the twenty in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant, and at first, he had thoughts of buying a new video game. Then he spotted Lt. Col. Frank Dailey in uniform, also eating at the restaurant.
At that moment, everything changed.
“Because he was a soldier, and soldiers remind me of my dad,” Myles explains.
Myles’ father was killed in Iraq when he was 5 weeks old. He remembers his dad through family pictures.
Myles wrote a note for Daily and wrapped the $20 bill inside.
“Dear Soldier — my dad was a soldier. He’s in heaven now. I found this 20 dollars in the parking lot when we got here. We like to pay it forward in my family. It’s your lucky day! Thank you for your service. Myles Eckert, a gold star kid.”
After lunch that day, Myles asked his mom to make one more stop. He wanted to go see his dad. And he insisted he went alone.