Senate Schedules Hearing on History and Legality of Presidential “Czars”

Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisc., announced today that his Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution will hold a hearing “Examining the History and Legality of Executive Branch 'Czars'” on Tuesday October 6.

Earlier this month the liberal lawmaker asked the White House to identify the czars' "roles and responsibilities, and provide the judgment(s) of your legal advisors as to whether and how these positions are consistent with the Appointments Clause" in Article II, section 2 of the Constitution, which states that the President "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."

Previous presidents have made ample use of the privilege to appoint executive branch experts who are not confirmed by the Senate and oversee one particular area, but experts say President Obama has done so to an unprecedented degree.

In April, David Rothkopf wrote at the Foreign Policy blog with the appointment of a Border Czar, President Obama had more czars than the Romanovs.

-jpt

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