Non-Response to Non-Recess Appointments; Where's the Lawsuit Challenging Their Constitutionality?

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Now that the Senate has returned from its non-recess, it will be interesting to see what, if anything, Senate Republicans will do about the non-recess recess appointments President Obama made in their non-absence.

Judging by what they have done thus far in response to Mr. Obama's trampling of the Constitution - a whole lot of kvetching and not much else - it's hardly encouraging.

Oh, wait. After fulminating at some length about it, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, did turn the issue into a soon-to-be fundraising pitch under the letterhead of his 2014 Senate re-election campaign.

In an email sent out Jan. 10 to subscribers to and addressed to Dear Fellow Conservative, the Senate minority leader complained that Mr. Obama arrogantly circumvented the American people with an unprecedented 'recess' appointment of more unelected, unaccountable, unconfirmed 'czars.'"

Calling Mr. Obama's non-recess recess appointments an outrageous affront to the American people, Mr. McConnell inveighed that the move ventures into uncertain legal territory, threatens the constitutional process for confirmation, and fundamentally endangers the constitutional role of Congress to provide a check on the excesses of the executive branch.

We can't tolerate another Obama executive power grab, the Kentuckian thundered. The emphasis there, apparently, was on another, as he clearly has tolerated this one.

When on Jan. 4, Mr. Obama made the appointments to the new Consumer Financial Protection Board and the National Labor Relations Board, Mr. McConnell complained, "What the president did today sets a terrible precedent that could allow any future president to completely cut the Senate out of the confirmation process, appointing his nominees immediately after sending their names up to Congress.

This was surely not what the Framers had in mind when they required the president to seek the advice of the Senate in making appointments, he said. He was right, of course, but when all was said and done, he had said much but had done little.

Then, on Jan. 12, the Justice Department of Mr. Obama's lackey attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., issued an ex post facto defense of the president's action. Did anyone seriously expect Mr. Holder - the most nakedly political attorney general since John Mitchell in the Nixon administration - to slap Mr. Obama's wrist and say, You can't do that ?

Similarly, did anyone really think the president's Senate handmaiden, Harry Reid, would object to Mr. …