Thursday, August 25, 2011

Catch of the Day (Shot With His Own Gun)

We have a winner! Charles Lebovitz of Chross Talk finds this one. My emphasis:
“Throughout the August recess, my colleagues and I will preside over pro forma sessions in the House — preventing congressional recess and presidential recess appointments,” said Rep. Jeffrey M. Landry, a Louisiana Republican who helped organize the effort.
Ooh, that's a nice one, isn't it? Oh, sorry: forgot to say what this is about. I'm looking for examples of Republicans, especially House Republicans, who slip up and say that Congress is currently in a recess. After all, the Constitution doesn't say anything about how long Congress goes without a pro forma session; what the Constitution says is that the president can make appointments "to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate." Well, is it a recess or isn't it? Landry seems, shall we say, confused. Nice catch!

Here's a runner-up, courtesy of commenter acrossthestreet. The House Press Gallery currently has a banner on its web site saying "August Recess Aug. 2, 2011 - Sept. 7. 2011." Now, that's a lot murkier as far as authorship is concerned, but I'll take it!

Just to clarify: the "three day" standard for recesses comes from a Clinton-era DOJ opinion, and was respected by George W. Bush when the majority Democrats in the Senate did this back in the final stages of his administration. If majority Republicans were doing this now, I'd say that it would be, if not quite a binding precedent, certainly something to respect. But since it's the House that's acting here, and the House has no Constitutional role in confirming nominations, we're talking in my view about something very different.

Anyway, if anyone else sees something let me know, and I'll update this item.

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