In a letter released Monday, Kennedy, a high-ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that "a serious question exists as to whether Judge Pryor's recess appointment is constitutional." He asked the court to determine the validity of the appointment, so as to not taint any decisions in which Pryor may be involved. Recess appointments can only come "at the end of a Congress or the recess between the annual sessions of Congress," Kennedy wrote. "No other Article III judge in the nation's history has ever received a recess appointment during a brief holiday period in the midst of a session of Congress," Kennedy added in a memo attached to the letter.The White House feels that Kennedy doesn't understand the history at all.
"The president properly exercised the power granted to him by the U.S. Constitution," White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said. "Judge Pryor's appointment was thoroughly reviewed by the Department of Justice and is fully consistent with long standing practices of both Democrat and Republican administrations."I guess it depends on what the definition of 'recess' is. This may be an indication that the Dems on the Judiciary intend to ratchet up their opposition to W's appointments during this election year. The Republicans are sweating with the computer theft report (large .pdf -- via Calpundit) out and any further investigations that could grow from its fertile ground. As Bush has decided that he will attempt to reignite the culture war this election year, the judiciary will become a central element in the argutments of both sides. Perhaps the senate Dems feel themselces on solid ground taking on old George this time.
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