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March 06, 2012



Calabria's talking about stuff he knows nohntig about. He's an economist, not a lawyer and therefore misses a really elementary legal point: the Constitution trumps any Congressional statute. Congress cannot restrict the President's recess appointment power by statute. The real question is whether this was in fact a recess appointment, not whether the President can make a recess appointment. That's a trickier issue, as recess is not defined in the Constitution. Is a weekend a recess? A 3-day or 4-day holiday weekend? What is one to do about pro forma sessions, where the Senate doesn't conduct any actual business? What about the fact that roll call votes are not required (and if no one challenges quorum, hmmm ). I think the Senate resolution on Terry Schiavo was passed by all of two Senators in a voice vote in the middle of the night.


What I really don't untdrseand is how everyone is just skipping past the initial issue, which is whether or not this is a recess appointment. It clearly is not a recess appointment, and there requires the advice and consent' of the Senate. The President can argue til he is blue in the face that they Senate isn't really' in session, but I do not recall anytime in the past (or section of the Constitution) when the President has had the power to declare or decide whether or not the Senate is in session. The Senate opened session pro forma the DAY before the President announced and made this appointment. If the President can declare when the Senate is in session, and therefore declare when he does and does not require the advice and consent of the Senate, then that provision within the Constitution is meaningless. Surely, no one would argue such a thing. Least of all Senators Harry Reid and Barack Obama circa 2007-2008 when they did the same tactic. And certainly not Obama's justice department (Justice Kagen ridiculed the concept in a brief). Think about it this way . EVEN BUSH COULDN'T BRING HIMSELF TO DO THIS. So why should it be ok for Obama to do it?


You cannot reasnoably argue that the Senate is not in recess when (a) none of the senators are in town, save the one guy who gavels in and gavels out 30 seconds later; (b) the Senate as a whole, the subcommittees, the caucuses, etc. are ALL out of session until late January; and (c) this is a four year old tradition to have pro forma sessions of the Senate (required by the House, which is also not functioning at all but in pro forma session , refusing to recess) in order to keep Obama from making recess appointments. Four years . . . not forty or one hundred and forty . . . but four years.Now I admit that it has been a long time since I read the Constitution. But I do not recall the phrase pro forma session anywhere in the document. This is a session in name only, one that, in theory, could last 364 days. So at what point would we all be able to agree that a pro forma session is not a real session of the Senate? Well, the tradition is a three day break in action, as the Kagen memo noted . . . but that, too, is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution.Finally, mark t. alludes to the idea that the CFPB will be rudderless after Cordray's one year stint is up. Uh, maybe. Conceivably, a GOPer president elected in November would not name anyone to the agency to which the GOPers are so hostile. But it is just ask likely that they would try to name a pro-pay day loan industry stooge into the position and try to undo every reform that Cordray puts in. And if Obama is re-elected, he certainly will fill the position, via recess appointment or otherwise, not screwing around for a year, the way he did this time, trying to cajole the GOPers into either confirming or rejecting a nominee.

Salla Hasti

It is a good thing that they discuss those scam thing specially the debt collectors,debt collector are really annoying what more if it is scam.I hope they will have a lot of move for those.

Jaconda Wagner

Interesting story. I wonder why it has taken so long for the government to act on these fraudulent practices. I am also curious about military personnel and their families being targets. Why isn't the government providing life skills to these individuals so they are aware of the scams and able to make better decisions about engaging in business with these people? Also, who is overseeing the AGS? I had an issue with a debt purchaser that it took me two states (New Jersey and Nebraska) and two years to resolve; however, the company (Merchant Credit Adjusters - MCA) is still in business and the state (Nebraska) refused to initiate an investigation into what I maintain were fraudulent practices by the company (Merchant Credit Adjusters - MCA). Even the alleged original debt holder (Township of Montclair) said it was unaware of the debt. So, how can you buy a debt that does not exist and harass a person for collection?

Joe Jefferis

Ohio voters fired Cordray in 2010.

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