Today, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) reacted to the Supreme Court's decision to hear National Labor Relations Board v Noel Canning, to determine whether the President overstepped his authority by making appointments when the Senate was not in recess.
"Although I am pleased to hear that the Supreme Court will address the constitutionality of President Obama's purported recess appointments, had the Senate protected its institutional prerogatives and objected to the President's violation of the Constitution's separation of powers, the case would never have needed to go to court," said Sen. Lee. "The Senate has an essential role in the confirmations process. The Constitution authorizes the President to appoint judges and executive officers only when he does so with the advice and consent of the Senate. I believe members of the Senate should have guarded their role in the confirmations process and upheld the Constitution's separation of powers by taking actions that would have ensured the President could not bypass the Senate and unilaterally make appointments with political impunity. Because the Senate failed to do so, the Court should address the matter."
Days after the appointments were made, Senator Lee became the primary advocate for the Senate's constitutional role in the nominations process. He immediately began speaking out against the unconstitutional appointments in meetings of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on the floor of the U.S. Senate, in a hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and in countless interviews in the press. In addition, in protest of the appointments, Senator Lee voted against President Obama's judicial and executive appointments until the Senate ceased confirming circuit court judges prior to the 2012 elections.