by Jeremy Leaming
Fuming over the recess appointments President Obama made in January, Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley leveled threats against the Assistant Attorney General Virginia Seitz who authored a legal memorandum backing those appointments. Not only attacking her legal analysis, Grassley said Seitz (pictured) should never be confirmed again for any position.
In a piece for The Huffington Post, ACS President Caroline Fredrickson takes Grassley to task for his misguided attacks on Seitz, who he voted to confirm to lead of the Office of Legal Counsel, which is charged with providing legal advice to the president and all executive agencies.
Seitz’s memorandum is straightforward and relies on precedent and historical practice of past attorneys general. If it’s unconvincing to Grassley that’s only because it helped the president stand up to the ongoing obstruction orchestrated by Grassley’s party.
Since coming into office, President Obama has faced an intensifying front of opposition to his judicial, and many of his executive branch selections. For example, the obstructionism has greatly hobbled our federal courts, where there are more than 80 vacancies and caseloads of courts throughout the nation continue to swell, leaving far too many Americans without access to an efficient judicial system.
After more than a year of going without a chief, the president moved on naming Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Faced with three vacancies on the five-member board of the National Labor Relations Board, and ongoing of obstruction of nominees to those seats, the president used recess appointments to keep the agency functioning.