No Recess Appointment for Dawn Johnsen
By Andrew Ramonas | May 22, 2022 11:42 pm

A CQ report raising the possibility President Obama will make a recess appointment of controversial Office of Legal Counsel nominee Dawn Johnsen over the Memorial Day break appears to be pure speculation.

Dawn Johnsen

Dawn Johnsen

In the story, CQ reporter Kathleen Hunter asks various Senate Republicans and Democrats to respond to the possibility of a recess appointment. Newsflash: Republicans hated the idea. But Democrats either had no comment or said they hadn’t heard any such talk.

We checked and feel confident the White House has no plan to appoint Johnsen during the Memorial Day break. The Indiana University law professor’s confirmation has been delayed by conservative Democrats and Republicans uneasy over her past abortion-rights advocacy and legal work.

The Constitution gives presidents the right to appoint executive branch officials who can’t win Senate approval during a recess of the chamber. President Bush did it a lot over the last eight years, stirring resentment among Democrats. Recess appointees can only serve until the end of the two-year Congress in which they were appointed.


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