Briefing Room


Professor Shane to Discuss Recess Appointments

January 17, 2012 | Faculty

Professor Peter M. Shane will participate in the Constitution Project’s tele-debate on Are the President’s Recent Recess Appointments Constitutional on Wednesday, Jan. 18, from 2:15 to 3:15 p.m.

Shane, the Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair in Law at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, will be joined by Professor Michael McConnell, the Richard & Frances Mallery Professor, director of the Stanford Law School Constitutional Law Center, and Hoover Institution Fellow.

President Obama ignited a significant controversy when he used recess appointments on Jan. 4, 2012, to name Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and to fill three vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board. President Obama claimed that he had the power to take these actions under the authority granted to the executive in Article 2, section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. Some Republican senators and others strongly objected, saying the Senate was in “pro forma” session so the recess appointment power could not apply.

On Jan. 6, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel issued an opinion defending the lawfulness of the appointments, which it released to the public on Jan. 12. In the meantime, the controversy has continued to rage. Now, you can hear the issue debated by two eminent legal scholars.

To listen to the tele-debate, call (888) 327-8914, passcode 9667817.