Tag Archives: CFPB

What recess appointment power?

Since the moment President Obama announced his appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Board and the National Labor Relations Board, there has been an ongoing debate over whether or not the Senate was in recess when these appointments were made.  The whole spectacle has been really interesting – but it’s basically irrelevant in this situation.

A better question to be asking at this point is – doesn’t it seem odd that the Founders would require the President to get his appointments confirmed by the Senate… and then let him just do whatever he wants through recess appointments?  Why would they do something that seems so illogical.

The short answer: they didn’t.

If a vacancy in the executive branch opens up while the Senate is in recess, then the president has the power to appoint someone to serve temporarily.  But unless a vacancy actually occurs while the Senate is out of session, the president has absolutely no power of recess appointment.

Don’t believe it?  The Constitution is pretty clear on the topic:

The President shall have Power 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.

Article 2, Section 2

That clause couldn’t any more straightforward.  But in case there is still any doubt, Alexander Hamilton explained the purpose of this clause in Federalist #67 as well:

The ordinary power of appointment is confined to the President and Senate JOINTLY, and can therefore only be exercised during the session of the Senate; but as it would have been improper to oblige this body to be continually in session for the appointment of officers and as vacancies might happen IN THEIR RECESS, which it might be necessary for the public service to fill without delay, the succeeding clause is evidently intended to authorize the President, SINGLY, to make temporary appointments “during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.” (emphasis in original)

The fact that the three appointments the president made to the NLRB are unconstitutional is not up for debate.  But Obama did make a weak attempt to argue that his appointment of Richard Corday to the CFPB is different because it’s a new agency and it can’t function without a director.

Unfortunately for the president, he’s dead wrong on that point as well:

“It has been held by that venerable body [the Senate], that if new offices are created by Congress, the president cannot, after the adjournment of the senate, make appointments to fill them.  The vacancies do not happen during the recess of the senate.” (emphasis in original text)

William Rawle, A View of the Constitution of the United States 1825

And:

By “vacancies” they understood to be meant vacancies occurring from death, resignation, promotion, or removal.  The word “happen” had relation to some causality, not provided for by law.  If the senate are in session, when offices are created by law, which as of yet have not been filled, and nominations are not then made to them by the president, he cannot appoint to such offices during the recess of the senate, because the vacancies did not happen during the recess of the senate.

Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution 1833

So the purpose of recess appointments was in no way intended to give the president a way to get around Senate decisions that he doesn’t like (shocker!) – it was to ensure that the government can continue to function if something unexpected happens in the executive branch while the Senate is out of town.  Now that makes a lot more sense!

Considering that President Obama is supposed to be a Constitutional scholar, you’d think he’d already know something basic like that.  I guess an education from Columbia and Harvard isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

If it was, he should already know that the system for confirming appointments wasn’t created by accident.  It has an essential purpose – to limit the power of the president.  More specifically, it was designed to limit the power of presidents who say things like this:

“I refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer,” Mr. Obama said in Shaker Heights, drawing applause from his audience. “When Congress refuses to act and as a result hurts our economy and puts our people at risk, then I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them.”

This kind of mindset is exactly why the system of checks and balances in the Constitution is so critical to protecting our freedom.  He is determined to appoint political cronies to certain executive agencies regardless of their qualifications (or lack thereof).  We can only imagine what he’d be doing if he wasn’t being restricted by that darned Constitution thingy.

When the Founders required Senate approval for those nominations, they were trying to force the president to nominate high quality candidates and to prevent him from using appointments as political favors, among other things.  So, for example, if the president started passing out appointments to reward political donors the Senate has the power to stop him from doing that.

But if the president has the power to just install anyone he wants during a recess every time the Senate rejects his nominee, the whole system of checks and balances falls apart.  At a time when the president has actually come out and announced that it is his intention to ignore the separation of powers and grab as much power as possible, the system of checks and balances is more important than ever… and our liberty is in serious danger.

This is where the hyper-partisan crowd starts screaming, “But, but, but Bush did the same thing when he made John Bolton a recess appointment!!”  Yep.  And it was unconstitutional when Bush did it too.  The fact that Bush violated the Constitution isn’t an appropriate reason for Obama to double down on the illegality.

If we accepted the logic of the folks who argue that these appointments are acceptable because there’s a precedent, that would mean that Obama would be justified in rounding up all the Japanese people in the country and putting them in internment camps… just because FDR did it once.  Obviously, that would be absurd.

As a nation we need to be asking ourselves if the Constitution actually means something or if we’d rather be governed entirely by precedents that are usually set by politicians who are trying to enlarge their own power.

The Constitution was carefully designed to protect your freedom – while relying solely on precedent provides no limit on the amount of power the government can have over your life.  We ought to be careful in choosing which one we want to govern us because once we go down the road to tyranny there’s no turning back.

Heil to the Chief

The dictator-in-chief continues to show his true colors (for those who are not color blind) with alarming news as to how he intends to do the work of Congress, without Congress.

According to cnsnews.com, President Obama has threatened to use executive actions since Congress will not submit to his demands. Anything less than full compliance with Barack Hussein Obama is “not working with” him. POTUS needs to be reminded that legislation is the job of the legislative branch of government and executing is the job of the executive branch. In other words, he needs to stay in his own area and do his own job. If he would do just that, he would not have time to meddle in the affairs of congress. But then, when you have nothing but disdain for the US Constitution and view it as a hindrance, trivial matters like switching job descriptions are no problem.

More than once over the past year, he has mentioned meeting with Congress, and has talked about sending things to Congress for them to pass. There is one little problem with this: it’s not his job! I realize anyone can write a bill, and only a member of Congress can introduce it, but his intention is to not just discuss, but to dictate. Congress is supposed to craft legislation (remember, they are the legislative branch) then they send it over to him to either sign or veto.

His reason for meddling where he doesn’t belong? The tired old mantra of growing the economy and creating jobs has been mentioned. It is not the job of the President or Congress to grow the economy or create jobs. Government needs to get out of the way and let the free market work.

His latest executive action two days after this announcement? He has appointed a director to the newly formed Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. What was the reason: a mortgage company took advantage of some elderly company and it was a crisis that just couldn’t be wasted. Result: a new watchdog group has been created out of thin air, to be funded by money that will also have to be created out of thin air. (Let us stop now for a moment of silence as we meditate on the proverb of the fox guarding the henhouse).

Obama has affirmed and re-affirmed that he wants to work with Congress only to then work around Congress. Pouting and taking your toys home is for children. A wise Rabbi once said, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” It’s time to grow up, follow the rules and do things the right way. Mr. Obama should consider working with Congress, the constitutional way, the right way, through the protocol of the executive office.

Joseph Harris has been a college professor and pastor since 1987 and his writings have appeared on WorldNetdaily, Conservative Daily News, Intellectual Conservative, and Land of the Free. [email protected]

The Danger of the Cordray Recess Appointment

Back on Dec 6th and 7th of this year a two-part article appeared on CDN that described the method the Obama administration was using to take over U.S. Banks by copying exactly how Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was taking over every part of private industry in creating his Communist Collective down in South America. Please read, U.S. Banks Being Taken Over Using Chavez-Style Manipulation Part 1 to understand the eery similarities between Chavez and Obama’s methods of operation today. Then, in Part 2 of that same article, it is exposed exactly how Indy Mac bank of California became One West bank, as the FDIC, Obama and Bernanke-Approved Bank Fraud lined the pockets of Dell, Paulson and Billionaire Leftist money-manipulator, George Soros, while also depleting FDIC funding, thus leaving U.S taxpayers to foot the bill.

The Indy-Mac fraud was in fact a test-run and model to use for the takeover of U.S. Banks and effect a major shift of financial power to assorted leftists like George Soros and crony-capitalists like Dell and Paulson. And they use the Dodd-Frank supposed financial reform bill, in conjunction with a politically injected CFPB ( Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) appointed “Czar” to complete the tri-fecta of taking over banks, turning them over to the likes of George Soros and assorted crony-capitalists, and then sticking the taxpayers with the losses from these same banks through depleting the FDIC fund, which is now about bankrupt.

Enter the latest unconstitutional recess appointment and “Money Czar” Richard Cordray. While President Obama was campaigning on the taxpayer’s dime once again in Ohio, he announced this latest violation of the U.S. Constitution with a load of misinformation, the likes of which Mr. Josef Goebbels would surely be proud of: “Today, I’m appointing Richard as America’s consumer watchdog,” Obama told the crowd. “That means he’ll be in charge of one thing: looking out for the best interest of American consumers. His job will be to protect families like yours from the abuses of the financial industry. His job will be to make sure you’ve got all the information you need to make important financial decisions.”

“Looking out for the best interest” of whom Mr. President? George Soros? Michael Dell? Is that what we are supposed to believe is the “Middle Class” you are “protecting” with this sham? How about when it was recently announced that the bank of America was going to charge debit card fees and the so-called financial reform bill permitted it? Sure they stopped it simply because customers started leaving the bank in droves over it, but it was legal under your new law. What Obama does not want the citizenry to understand is the fact that Richard Cordray will now have unfettered access to the taxpayer’s bank account without any input from Congress. Zero. Nada.

In the article Cordray Can Wait from Investors.com, accessed Jan. 05, 2012, we see the following: (emphasis added)

As Ohio’s attorney general, Cordray’s main focus was making Wall Street pay for the financial crisis. He sued BofA, AIG, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and other Wall Street firms on behalf of public-employee pensions. His shakedown netted trial lawyers and the unions they represent for more than $1 billion in settlements and fees.

Most concerning, this wannabe federal bank sheriff is in the back pocket of trial lawyers. The law firm that represented Ohio in the AIG case pumped $125,000 into Cordray’s campaigns. Other firms donated $200,000 to Cordray, who plans to run for Ohio governor one day. The new bureau will spawn more work for trial lawyers as it investigates banks for loosely defined “abusive” practices, including loan price “discrimination.”.

This recess appointment will fund the DNC through crony-trial lawyers for decades to come as was also documented here. Last but not least, from Investors.com we see this tidbit: (emphasis added)

As Democrats set up the CFPB, the director enjoys unprecedented power, reporting only to the president. The agency is housed in the Federal Reserve and funded outside the annual appropriations process (with a startup budget of half a billion dollars). In effect, it’s not accountable to Congress or the American public.
The Senate GOP threatens to filibuster Cordray’s final confirmation vote unless the agency adds a bipartisan panel to check its director. They don’t want to give another activist appointee blank-check authority to go after banks and provide even more grist for class-action lawyers. Someone’s got to stop the shakedown.

More race-based grift for class-action, DNC-donor trial lawyers? Do you mean like this example here: In that info-byte we see that bank of America will dole out $335 million dollars to “Black and Hispanic” borrowers because they were supposedly charged more for home loans. Apparently it doesn’t matter if these “victims” of unfair lending practices were very high-risk borrowers with no proven ability to pay when Democrats and Progressives forced banks to make sure “everyone gets a home regardless of ability to pay” mandates that caused the housing crisis in the first place. NOTE: With Blacks and Hispanics making up a small portion of the U.S. Population, isn’t it strange that white people are not included in these reparations, I mean settlement? How about Asians? Back to Investors.com for some more truth about Cordray being illegally injected into our government and his agenda:(emphasis added)

The new bureau will spawn more work for trial lawyers as it investigates banks for loosely defined “abusive” practices, including loan price “discrimination. Heading its Office of Fair Lending is Patrice Ficklin, a a black civil-rights lawyers who headed Fannie Mae’s racial grievance unit. She leads a team using new race-based lending data to crack down on banks that apply prudent lending standards equally to minorities.

Richard Cordray and Patrice Ficklin will now be able to dip into the wallets of the American taxpayers, pay trial lawyers that donate to the DNC millions of taxpayer dollars, and further redistribute those stolen tax dollars to DNC voters of their choice without any oversight from Congress. Nothing to see here folks, just move along.