Saturday, February 21, 2004
When Cheating Fails
This post goes into some of the details about Republican staffers stealing Democratic staffers' memos on the Senate Judiciary Committee and suggests criminal charges are potentially in the offing. This will add some interesting context to Bush's latest recess appointment, Alabama AG Pryor to the U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit. Of course, I wonder if why these memos didn't help them get anyone appointed. Maybe when the Dems realized the memos had been taken, they decided to dig in their heals on the noms.
Anyhoo, I just did a little digging, and it turns out that Thurgood Marshall's appointment to the Supreme Court was a recess appointment. Ike did the same for Justices Warren, Brennan, and Stewart. Reagan and Bush Sr. used them quite a lot.
This is the thing that interests me about recess appointments: it seems like an effective way to impose term limits on the federal judiciary. Now, instead of being lifetime appointees, we get some short-timers in for less than two years, and then they come up for confirmation again. But nothing says the president can't recess appoint someone else (I wonder if he could consecutively recess appoint someone), because you know Congress will recess at some point in the year. Heck, it often seems to be on recess every other week, kind of like Letterman's vacation schedule.
I'm not saying that term limits for the federal bench are good, I'm just saying this is a rather effective way of imposing them.
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