Friday, March 25, 2011

Executive Appointments -- Stop the Madness

The executive branch, i.e., the President, has the power to appoint people to various offices, including the Supreme Court.

The Senate has oversight, and must consent to any appointment. 

From the Constitution:

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

Currently this system is being abused. 

The language is clear: the Senate must approve all appointments.  In reality, the Senate simply ignores its duties and does not bring candidates up for a vote.

The President is then forced to make appointments while the Senate is in recess, and these appointees never get confirmed by the Senate.

This creates majot dysfunction, and the final result is unconstitutional.

I proposed the following changes:

The Senate must vote on every executive appointment within 90 days. Failure to hold vote will be considered dereliction of duty, and will result in the automatic impeachment of all Senators of the party that control the Senate at that time.  Special elections will be held to fill these seats.

All recess appointments shall be subject to Senate confirmation within 30 days of congress being convened.  All officers appointed during a recess shall not remain in that office for more than 120 days.

This will return the process to the balance of power envisioned by the Constitution.

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