Just weeks ago, President Obama announced that he would use a recess appointment to make Richard Cordray the director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. Cordray had been nominated to the post months earlier, but Senate Republicans blocked his confirmation based on opposition to the agency’s structure and power. President Obama went forward with the recess appointment despite the fact that the Senate was holding pro forma sessions and thus not officially in recess. The constitutionality of the President’s decision immediately came under scrutiny, culminating in the release of a Department of Justice memo justifying the appointment.
Similar issues were the subject of a prior Colloquy exchange between Professors Tillman and Kalt. Because that exchange is particularly relevant in light of recent events, we have posted it here for interested readers.