The hearing will take place the day after Valentine’s Day, but there probably won’t be any candy and flowers for the witnesses.
That’s when the House Judiciary Committee plans to hold a hearing on the constitutionality of President Obama’s recess appointment of Richard Cordray to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and of two appointees to the National Labor Relations Board.
The panel hasn’t announced witnesses for the Feb. 15 hearing.
“President Obama’s recent appointments are unprecedented and possibly unconstitutional. The President may make appointments while the Senate is in recess, however these appointments were made while the Senate was not—something no other president has attempted,’’ Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said when announcing the hearing.
He said the appointment set a dangerous precedent “for future administrations that want to avoid transparency and the constitutional role of the Senate to vote on certain nominations.’’
Smith has requested that the Justice Department turn over all documents, including emails, created prior to the Jan. 6 Office of Legislative Counsel opinion which the Obama administration used to justify the appointments.
On Tuesday during testimony before a House panel, Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general, said he would give some thought to finding a way that the CFPB’s decisions aren’t invalidated if the courts strike down the validity of his appointment.
However, he also said that he wouldn’t refrain from taking actions out of fear of an unfavorable legal decision.