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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Recess Appointments: Frequently Asked Questions

Henry B. Hogue
Specialist in American National Government

Under the Constitution (Article II, §2, clause 2), the President and the Senate share the power to make appointments to high-level policy-making positions in federal departments, agencies, boards, and commissions. Generally, the President nominates individuals to these positions, and the Senate must confirm them before he can appoint them to office. The Constitution also provides an exception to this process. When the Senate is in recess, the President may make a temporary appointment, called a recess appointment, to any such position without Senate approval (Article II, §2, clause 3). This report supplies brief answers to some frequently asked questions regarding recess appointments.

Additional information on recess appointments may be found in other CRS reports: CRS Report R42329, Recess Appointments Made by President Barack Obama, by Henry B. Hogue and Maureen Bearden; CRS Report RL33310, Recess Appointments Made by President George W. Bush, by Henry B. Hogue and Maureen Bearden; CRS Report RL33009, Recess Appointments: A Legal Overview, by Vivian S. Chu; and CRS Report RL32971, Judicial Recess Appointments: A Legal Overview, by T. J. Halstead.

Information and analysis regarding recent federal court cases related to recess appointments may be found in CRS Report R43030, The Recess Appointment Power After Noel Canning v. NLRB: Constitutional Implications, by Todd Garvey and David H. Carpenter; CRS Report R43032, Practical Implications of Noel Canning on the NLRB and CFPB, by David H. Carpenter and Todd Garvey; and CRS Report WSLG521, 3
rd Circuit: President’s Recess Appointment Power Only Extends to Intersession Recesses, by David H. Carpenter.

Date of Report: June 7, 2013
Number of Pages: 16
Order Number: RS21308
Price: $29.95

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