Diary

The Constitutionality of Czars

Since my first post was a bit controversial and I may have rubbed some people the wrong way I hope this is less irritating.

The resignation (probable force out) of Green Jobs Czar Van Jones got me thinking today and I pulled out my copy of the U.S. Constitution (if you don’t have one handy I recommend Cornell Laws Online version: http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.overview.html ).  Under Article II, Section 2, Presidential Power is outlined.   In it, the Constitution clearly states that (note this is in the second paragraph of Section 2)

He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.

Now a strict reading of this, at least my reading, would illustrate that the appointment of Van Jones or any other Czar without the “advice and consent” of the Senate is unconstitutional.  For clarification though, does anyone know if Congress has granted power to the presidency to make such appointments without approval?  If not, we could have an interesting constitutional case here.