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The Inconvenient Constitution

February 1, 2012
Sen. Mike Lee

As a United States Senator, I have sworn an oath to support, defend, and bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States. Complying with this Oath is not always convenient. Sometimes this requires voting against legislation that embodies policies I agree with, other times it requires taking a stand when doing so may not be popular.

The Constitution itself is not a document of convenience. It specifies an onerous process – bicameralism and presentment – with which the government must comply to enact legislation. And it imposes separation of government powers and a system of checks and balances between the different branches.

Among those checks and balances is the requirement that the President’s nominations of federal judges and executive officers receive the Advice and Consent of the Senate before they take office, unless they are nominated during a Senate recess.

Events of the last few weeks show just how inconvenient the Constitution can be for politicians who want to get their way at any cost. On January 4, 2012, President Obama attempted to bypass the Senate and unilaterally “recess appoint” those nominees even though the Senate was not in fact in recess.

These are brazen actions with real consequences. As a duly sworn United States Senator I feel duty bound to resist these actions, regardless of the difficulty.

And now… the rest of the story. …..

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