Obama and Senate Rewriting Article II; Slouching toward Dictatorship

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Reported in the New American:

Obama and Senate Rewriting Article II

 

On March 30, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y., picture, left) and 15 co-sponsors (including Republican leaders) introduced S. 679, the “Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act.” The measure would remove the “advice and consent” requirement for many executive branch appointments, giving the President unchecked power to fill key administration positions.

Ostensibly, the bill enjoys bipartisan support because its sole purpose is to relieve the backlog of unconfirmed appointees by eliminating the confirmation requirement for about 200 offices.

The process by which heads of executive branch departments are appointed and confirmed is set forth by Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. The “Appointments Clause” provides that the President:

… shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
If this bill passes, the checks and balances established by our Founding Fathers as a protection against tyranny will be eliminated, as well as the concept of enumerated powers.

There is a legal way to amend the Constitution:

Article V

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

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