Obama Recess Appointments: Justice Department Says They Are Constitutional
The Justice Department is defending the legality of President Barack Obama's recent recess appointment of a national consumer watchdog and other officials from criticism by Republicans.
The department released a 23-page legal opinion Thursday summarizing the advice it gave the White House before the Jan. 4 appointments. Assistant Attorney General Virginia Seitz wrote that the president has authority to make such appointments during a congressional recess of the current length. Seitz argued the Senate's periodic pro forma sessions in which no business is conducted have not enabled the chamber to advise and consent to regular nominations, as it is empowered to do under the Constitution.