RUSH: A federal appeals court has ruled that President Obama violated the Constitution when he bypassed the Senate to fill vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board. This is the US Court of Appeals for the DC circuit. It said that Obama did not have the power to make recess appointments earlier this year to the NLRB. The Senate was not in recess. I’ll never forget this. The Senate wasn’t in recess and he made recess appointments.
There was barely any outrage over that. I mean, there was outrage here because the Constitution’s revered here on this program, but out there in the hinterlands, it was, “Well, so what? Obama was elected, he should be able to put whoever he wants on these boards. We love the government. The government’s looking out for us. The government’s taking care of us. The National Labor Relations Board is making sure the people who have jobs have good relations. What’s the point? What does it matter who Obama — shouldn’t he have his people in there?” This is the reaction. What difference does it make? What difference does it make because, hell, Obama won, and who says he can’t do what he wants to do? That’s what his supporters are all saying.
Well, there’s this thing called the Constitution. Now, the president said that he acted properly because the Senate was away for the holidays. That may have been, but they were not shut down. The court says that the Senate technically stayed in session when lawmakers gaveled in and out every few days for so-called pro forma session. I remember this quite well. I forget the specific reason, but there was a reason why they didn’t, the Senate — Harry Reid was playing games. I think there was a way for the president to do what he did. Reid was playing games, shutting the place down for a couple hours or a couple of days and Obama would make his appointments.
Anyway, “Republicans used the tactic specifically to prevent Obama from using his recess power to fill vacancies in an agency they claimed was too pro-union.” I’m reading now from the AP story. Now, this decision’s gonna be appealed to the Supreme Court. This is not over. But it’s a major statement. It’s a major statement. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals has essentially said to Barack Obama, you have greatly abused your power, and it is not permitted in our Constitution. You read the summary of the ruling from the court, and it’s apparent here — you know, all kinds of people can file briefs, organizations, institutions, amicus briefs, friend of the court briefs, I want to get in on the action briefs, what difference does it make briefs, I want to play ball here, too, briefs.
Any number of legal groups can file papers, essentially, that the justices read, judges read, hoping to educate them to a particular point of view. I’ll tell you if you go through this, there’s a fantastic constitutionally based legal foundation, Landmark Legal Foundation, and their arguments appear to be almost universally adopted by the court when you read the rulings. So congratulations to Landmark Legal Foundation. As you know it’s headed up by our good buddy here, Mark F. “Lee” Levin. It’s a major, major statement for the DC circuit to essentially tell the president of the United States that he has abused his power, he does not have this kind of power.
This is not gonna sit well in the White House. So they’ll take it up to the Supreme Court and we’ll see what happens from that point on. I think what they’ll say is, “What difference does it make? What difference does it make if the president wants to make appointments? What difference does it make whether it’s constitutional or not? The Constitution’s old-fashioned. Look at the Second Amendment. It was never supposed to be in there. The Constitution doesn’t have anything in there, when it was written, about abortion. The Constitution permitted slavery. To hell with the Constitution. What does it matter?” That will be the reaction of many on the pro-Obama side.
“What do you mean separation of powers? Why do we need separation of powers? We think Obama’s power’s absolute. Why do we need to separate Obama’s power?” That would be the low-information voter reaction. “What difference does it make if the president has no limits in his power? The president’s a good guy, cares about us, loves us, Santa Claus, why shouldn’t he have all the power he wants?” This is what we’re gonna be up against.
But we are blessed, folks, seriously, by the fact that there are still serious people who are continuing to work very hard to stop these abuses of power. Congratulations to the Landmark Legal Foundation.