Below, NRC's Seth Barrett Tillman raises the specter of President Obama using the Senate's brief recess to make a recess appointment to the Supreme Court. This shows why, especially in times of divided government, the Senate should always remain at least in pro forma session.
"Recess" appointments once served a real purpose, with the Senate scattered to all corners of the nation, and return to the capital sometimes weeks away. Today, with every senator mere hours away by air, there is no spirit of that law to keep: To exercise the recess appointment power in contentious cases is mere political chicanery.
Will Barack Obama demagogue and perhaps even racialize a controversy that should not even exist? In 2009, President Obama smothered GOP objections to his programs with a simple and smug "I won."
But in 2014, the people gave back control of the Senate to the GOP, less out of merit than to stop Barack Obama, and stop him they will. "You lost."
The only question now is how much Obama is willing to further divide the country over an issue he cannot and should not win. His record indicates he is ready, willing and able.