Obama’s Appointment of Dozens of ‘Czars’ an Unconstitutional Power Grab says US’s longest Tenured Senator

Late U.S. Senator Robert Byrd, the longest serving US Senator at the time and a stern constitutional scholar, expressed concerns that Obama’s dozens of czars appointed in 2009 might violate the U.S. Constitution and were a clear attempt to replace Congress as the major rule-making body by appointing these Czars who create policy and manage programs in areas where the president has no Constitutional authority as outlined in Article II, Sections II and III. Moreover, these appointments are made without the “advice and consent,” of the U.S. Senate as is required by the Constitution. They function much like cabinet officers but are unconfirmed and are accountable only to the president. They also are not required to swear allegiance to the U.S. Constitution. Senator Byrd said that these appointments violate both the constitutional system of checks and balances and the constitutional separation of powers, and is a clear attempt to evade congressional oversight.

Senator Byrd is exactly correct. The Constitution commands that government officers with significant authority (called “principal officers”) are nominated by the president but then are subject to a confirmation vote by the U.S. Senate. And principal officers include not only cabinet-level department heads, but go five levels deep in executive appointments, to include assistant secretaries and deputy undersecretaries.

Inferior officers are appointed either by the president, cabinet-level officers, or the courts. But even then, the Constitution specifies that only Congress can authorize the making of such appointments. For these inferior officers, only Congress can create their offices, and also specify who appoints them. And such officers are still answerable to Congress. They are subject to subpoena to testify before Congress, and Congress holds the power of the purse by making annual appropriations for their division or program.

White House officials, by contrast, cannot be compelled to appear before Congress and testify. They are alter-egos of the president himself, and as an agent of the Executive Office of the President they are entirely removed from Congress, and not answerable to Congress in any way. That was why during the Bush administration White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, Senior Advisor Karl Rove, and Counsel Harriet Miers could not be compelled to testify to Congress when President Bush invoked executive privilege (a battle they may well have won if they pressed their case all the way to the Supreme Court). Senior presidential aides advise the president alone, and the separation of powers forbids congressional interference in that relationship.

But that’s the problem with these czars. The president can have any advisors he wants, people who privately advise him or meet with others on his behalf, but have little or no actual authority to exert government power on anyone. These czars, however, are directly dictating policy, impacting millions of lives in the way that few assistant secretaries or deputy undersecretaries do.

The Founding Fathers specifically wrote the Constitution in a way to deny such absolute power to emanate from one person. That was why they required that no principal officers could exercise any power unless the U.S. Senate decided to confirm them. That was also why they specified that even for inferior officers only Congress could create their positions and could still require them to answer to Congress. The Founding Fathers were specifically blocking the type of centralized power that President Obama is currently exerting.

Fortunately, there is a remedy. Any person on the receiving end of an order from any of these czars has standing to challenge their constitutionality in court. Any person whose pay is deemed excessive by Kenneth Feinberg, or affected by any other czar, could file a federal suit asserting that the order is an unconstitutional exercise of government power, and have a court both invalidate the order and hold that the position itself doesn’t legally exist. Then everyone could just ignore these czars, because they would simply be private citizens, without the authority to order any of us to tie our shoes. (Source)

Dr. Harold Pease documents the history of czars and how they’re unconstitutionally replacing congress:

This totally unconstitutional new stratum of government first started with Franklin Roosevelt who appointed, without Senate confirmation, eleven so called Czars in the 1930’s during his more than three terms in the White House. Harry Truman had 6 and Bill Clinton 8. Such was never seriously resisted, often because the president’s party also controlled both Houses of Congress and blind party loyalty kept them from questioning their leader. Then Czar power exploded. George W. Bush had 33 and Barack Obama, the king of Czar appointments, virtually began his administration with unconfirmed, unaccountable to no one but himself, 37 Czars. That number now exceeds 50.

Some of the more controversial Czars under George W. Bush head the following areas: AIDS, Bank Bailouts, Bioethics, Bird Flue, Birth Control, Copyright, Cyber Security and even Democracy. Do not ask what a Democracy Czar or a Birth Control Czar does. Not one of these powers belongs to the President. Under Obama such included: Auto, Bank Bailout, Climate, Global Warming, Pay, Domestic Violence, Drug, and Ethics Czars. Once again, these are powers never given to the Executive Branch of Government by the Constitution or any amendment added thereto; presidents just took them while Congress sat idly by. Actually most are state powers as per Amendment 10 of the U.S. Constitution. Both had/have Weatherization and Faith-Based Czars, what ever those are (List of U. S. Executive Branch Czars, Wikipedia.org). Each of these has enormous government power and answer only to the President, as would be the case under a king or dictator.

Dr. Harold Pease, an expert on the United States Constitutio who has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events, says that under the Constitution the president has but eleven powers found in Article II, Sections II and III. Let us identify them:

  1. “Commander in chief of the army and navy of the United States” including the militia when called into actual service of the United States;
  2. supervise departments (cabinet), each presumably established by the Congress (George Washington had but four);
  3. grant reprieves and pardons;
  4. make treaties with the help of the Senate;
  5. with Senate help appoint positions established by law such as ambassadors, ministers and judges;
  6. fill vacancies “during recess of the Senate;”
  7. make recommendations to Congress on the state of the union;
  8. convene both houses on special occasions and handle disputes with respect to convening (Prior to the 20th Amendment in Feb. 6, 1933, Congress convened on the first Monday in December and were out before Christmas—maybe three weeks.);
  9. receive ambassadors and other public ministers;
  10. make certain that “laws be faithfully executed;” and,
  11. “commission all the officers of the United States.”

Simply stated, the president has two supervisory powers over existing organizations and two shared powers with the Senate, otherwise he pardons, recommends, appoints and entertains. That is it! Notice the absence of power to make any rules and regulations on us. This is the job of Congress alone. Congress should immediately end all Czars and, if resisted in doing so, move next to impeachment proceedings regardless of political party.

Additional Reading:


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Shadow Government: What Obama Doesn’t Want You to Know About His Czars

The book that rocked the Obama Administration, instantly made national news and led to Congressional inquiries, resignations and forced Obama into cover up mode…IS BACK with more potent hard-hitting facts that Obama hopes you won’t see. The Final Updated Copy of Shadow Government: What Obama Doesn’t Want You to Know About His Czars, a detailed, no holds barred dossier on all 43 of Obama’s handpicked Czars. This book reveals it all. Did you know?…That Obama has appointed czars that have: Promoted homosexuality in elementary schools – Fought to give animals the right to sue in court – Want to ban hunting – Advocated population controls and even compulsory abortion laws – Declared war on conservative talk radio – Praised Hugo Chavez – Aligned with communists and socialists – Advocated economy crushing 60 mile per gallon vehicle requirements – Called for the replacement of all incandescent light bulbs with florescent bulbs – Actively push the largest tax increase in the history of the world – Plead guilty to shop lifting – Donated thousands of dollars to Obama’s political campaigns Shadow Government covers all 43 Czars Obama has hand picked to carry out his radical transformation of America. Arm yourself with the information and knowledge you need to write your congressman, take to your town hall meetings and bring to tea parties. Start demanding answers today!

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