It's not like I don't have better things to do today, but something's been irritating me for a while (no, not this guy ... well, OK, him too). It's been gnawing at me for some time that waiting until Congress wasn't in session anymore to sneak John Bolton in on a "recess appointment" was sort of abusing the whole idea of a recess appointment, which I would have thought was there to handle things that, well, you know, unexpectedly come up during the recess of Congress.
Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks this way as you can read here:
Seriously though (though I was serious, sort of), after I heard that Bolton may yet squirm through on a recess appointment, I dug around on these here Internets for information about the constitutionality of recess appointments (here's a good explanatory essay that I'm drawing from today). More precisely, I was wondering whether appointing Bolton would be a constitutionally valid recess appointment under Article II. Even if it is, the bigger point I want to make today is that recess appointments no longer make any sense in 2005.
But first, to the constitutionality of appointing Bolton during "recess" (which is an appropriate word for our third-grade maturity level Congress these days).
There is at least one strong textual argument that a recess appointment of Bolton would be unconstitutional. The Constitution reads, "The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate." Thus, one could argue that recess appointments are only valid if the vacancy arose during the actual recess. If so, Bolton's appointment this summer wouldn't be valid because the post opened before the recess.
Naturally, there's more. You know what to do -- just follow the link.