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Entries by Peter M. Shane from 01/2013

The Hysteria Over the Obama Executive Orders

| Posted 01.18.2013 | Politics

Not being a psychiatrist, I don't really understand why the president's fairly modest efforts at gun policy reform seem to have utterly deranged some of his political opponents. But talk of impeachment in connection with his gun-related "executive orders" is, to put it mildly, ridiculous.

Permitting Legislative Repeal by Blocking Nominations: The DC Circuit Recess Appointment Disaster

| Posted 01.27.2013 | Politics

Of course, the Senate is not intended to be a rubber stamp. But stalling nomination votes simply to keep laws from being enforced -- effectively repealing the laws that cannot be enforced without the nominees in place -- is utterly inconsistent with the Senate's proper confirmation role.

Two More Reasons Why the D.C. Circuit is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong on Recess Appointments

| Posted 01.30.2013 | Politics

Congress can work mischief of its own. The Senate can hold up patently qualified nominees interminably. Or a majority of the House of Representatives may disable the Senate from going into "the recess" for no reason other than to preserve the filibustering prerogatives of a Senate minority.

Judicial Activism and Recess Appointments

| Posted 01.31.2013 | Politics

What is striking about the DC Circuit opinion is not its bottom line, but the scope of its reasoning. Despite a pretense of constitutional modesty, the court decided the Recess Appointments issue on the broadest possible ground.