Zywicki in LA Times: Cordray Appointment May Be in Jeopardy

Commenting in the Los Angeles Times, Professor Todd Zywicki noted that a federal appeals court's ruling that recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last year were unconstitutional could have implications for the fate of Richard Cordray, appointed to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) by recess appointment at the same time.

"This clearly affects Cordray's appointment," said Zywicki. 

The federal appeals court's decision limiting the president's power to bypass Senate confirmations through recess appointments has the potential to cripple the two federal agencies, as it muddies the legal status of regulations and enforcement actions made over the last year by the NLRB and the CFPB. 

Court rules Obama's recess picks are illegal, Los Angeles Times, January 25, 2013. By David G. Savage.


"In recent decades, presidents faced with partisan gridlock on Capitol Hill have increasingly used short-term recess appointments to get around stalling by the Senate.

"President Reagan made 243 recess appointments during his time in the White House, President Clinton made 140, and President George W. Bush, 171, according to Senate historian Donald Ritchie. Obama made 32 such appointments in his first term.

"In Obama's first term, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) used the filibuster threat to block votes on many Obama nominees, including those to the NLRB. McConnell joined the lawsuit against Obama's appointments.

"The decision came a day after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced he had stepped back from proposals to sharply limit the use of the filibuster."

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