Senator Mike Lee Gives Dems a Dose of Constitutional Reality

Last week, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) was the only senator who showed up to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform concerning President Obama’s recess appointments. It didn’t take long for the minority members to become very uncomfortable when confronted with the realities of the Constitution regarding recess appointments.

This video is the entirety of Senator Lee’s testimony before Oversight. It is worth…

  1. Ottoman Umpire

    Thank you for posting this. Rep. Issa says “the matter will soon be decided by the courts,” (words to that effect), and I imagine the courts will decide against Obama. 

    Assuming that’s the case, what’s the political playbook on this?  Rep. Cummings is already demagoguing the draconic effects this will have on grandmothers and Girl Scouts (again, words to that effect), but will this work?  

    In other words, will the “Obama wipes his shoes with Constitution” narrative take hold, or will it be “Republicans succeed in protecting Wall Street and Corporate fat cats?”  I’m thinking the former?

  2. Peter Meza

    I like Senator Lee.  He is one of those few Republicans who can actually effectively articulate his conservative position.

  3. Jason Whitman

    I also heard Rep. Issa mention that, Ottoman Umpire, and I certainly hope it proves to be true. There was already case law that would seem to make it likely the courts will not uphold these recess appointments. One hates to be optimistic, however.

    The GOP needs to create a narrative that actually works and resonates. Unfortunately, we have not been effective in doing that as the recent battle over the payroll tax demonstrated. 

  4. DrewInWisconsin
    Jason Whitman:

    The question is, what will the Republicans do about this going forward? There have been discussions among GOP leadership about taking legal action. Unfortunately, these appointments expire at the end of the 112th Congress. It is unlikely a case would be decided in time to prevent the appointees from taking adverse action.

    That is the question, isn’t it? It’s been the question since Obama was elected and started ignoring the constitution. If all the GOP is going to do is frown heavily at Obama, then who cares? Unless they take action — swift action — then it all amounts to sound and fury. Already we’re long past the date when Eric Holder should have been led off-stage in chains, along with as many of his cohorts as possible. But no, we just keep getting hearing after hearing, and no action.

    Deeds, not words. I want to see these [CoC inappropriate] taken down.

  5. Casey Way

    I’ve seen Issa on television over the past couple days and he continues to impress me.

  6. DocJay
    DrewInWisconsin

    Jason Whitman:

    The question is, what will the Republicans do about this going forward? There have been discussions among GOP leadership about taking legal action. Unfortunately, these appointments expire at the end of the 112th Congress. It is unlikely a case would be decided in time to prevent the appointees from taking adverse action.

    That is the question, isn’t it? It’s been the question since Obama was elected and started ignoring the constitution. If all the GOP is going to do is frown heavily at Obama, then who cares? Unless they take action — swift action — then it all amounts to sound and fury. Already we’re long past the date when Eric Holder should have been led off-stage in chains, along with as many of his cohorts as possible. But no, we just keep getting hearing after hearing, and no action.

    Deeds, not words. I want to see these [CoC inappropriate] taken down. · 3 hours ago

    Yeah baby!

  7. Andy S

    I applaud Sen. Lee’s brilliant testimony.  He was well reasoned, moderate in tone, respectful and his constitutional arguments were spot on. Stark contrast to his detractors.

    I think that the point that continued to be lost on the Democrats was that the prerogative of the Senate not to act, even if doing so negates existing law, being a fundamental power of the body.  In the very same way that Congress can de-fund a lawful program (e.g. the war in Vietnam), the Congress can also chose to disable and/or mitigate the power of lawful programs that it choses not to support. This power is clear and used by both D’s & R’s. 

    As for the mock outrage of the D’s w.r.t. the process of the Senate, I find it laughable after the Obamacare fiasco, they would believe that they have any credibility on the topic of process in any case.

  8. David John

    You might get a better audience for your post if the intro to this video was not so long. At first, I thought it was a broken link or something.

    Please edit your videos.

  9. Jason Whitman
    David John: You might get a better audience for your post if the intro to this video was not so long. At first, I thought it was a broken link or something.

    Please edit your videos. · 4 minutes ago

    If you look, you will see directly below the video I stated it was the entirety of his testimony. In retrospect, I should have posted the length of the video.

  10. Antiphon

    Can we have a few minute-markers for the good stuff?

  11. Andy S
    Tom Lindholtz: No problem, Jason.  As soon as you open the link you can look down at the bottom and see that it is almost two hours long.  And it is worth the watch just for the education in Constitutional law.

    The thing I find perplexing is that the Senate would not have standing before the court.  ISTM, they do have an actual injury; their constitutional role and power was usurped unlawfully.

    Question, would the President’s un-Constitutional act be sufficient to warrant impeachment?  The House gets to bring those charges.  It might be impossible to get the Dem Senate to convict…or maybe not with an election coming up and 2010 in the rearview mirror.  But it would certainly liven up the election season. · 11 hours ago

    If i recall correctly, the impeachment of Clinton destroyed the R’s image and only made Clinton more popular than ever. 

  12. The New Clear Option

    You can run thru splicd.com & post links showing the pertinent highlights.

  13. Tom Lindholtz

    No problem, Jason.  As soon as you open the link you can look down at the bottom and see that it is almost two hours long.  And it is worth the watch just for the education in Constitutional law.

    The thing I find perplexing is that the Senate would not have standing before the court.  ISTM, they do have an actual injury; their constitutional role and power was usurped unlawfully.

    Question, would the President’s un-Constitutional act be sufficient to warrant impeachment?  The House gets to bring those charges.  It might be impossible to get the Dem Senate to convict…or maybe not with an election coming up and 2010 in the rearview mirror.  But it would certainly liven up the election season.

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