Congressional Digest

Supreme Court Debates February 2014 No. 2 Vol. 17
Recess Appointments

Recess Appointments

The President and Congress Battle Over Political Nominations

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The Constitution gives the President the unilateral power to make temporary executive appointments when the Senate is in “recess” that would normally require Senate confirmation.

“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 II, Section 2.

But what did the Founding Fathers mean? What constitutes a “recess” And what did they mean by “may happen”?

How these questions are answered in the case National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning could…

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