President Obama's January 4, 2012, Recess Appointments: Legal Issues [January 23, 2012] [open pdf - 465KB]
"This report analyzes the legal issues associated with the President's asserted exercise of his Recess Appointments Clause power on January 4, 2012. The report begins with a general legal overview of the Recess Appointments Clause. This is followed by an analysis of two legal principles, standing and the political question doctrine, which may impede a reviewing court from reaching the merits of a potential legal challenge to the appointments. The examination of these justiciability issues is followed by an analysis of the constitutional validity of the appointments; potential statutory restrictions on a recess appointee's authority to exercise the powers of the CFPB [Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection]; and how actions taken by the recess appointees could be impacted by a court ruling that the appointments are unlawful. "
CRS Report for Congress, RL42323