President Donald Trump has the constitutional right to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but if he does he should not expect Senate cooperation to appoint a new one.
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Twitter stated it won’t be a priority in 2017.
Everybody in D.C. Shld b warned that the agenda for the judiciary Comm is set for rest of 2017. Judges first subcabinet 2nd / AG no way
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) July 27, 2017
The Washington Post reported that Trump is discussing the possibility of a recess appointment, but only if Sessions leaves the job which he has not given any indication that he will. The White House, of course, denies this calling it fake news.
The President has the authority to make a recess appointment while the U.S. Senate is in recess for at least 10 days according to a recent Supreme Court ruling that denied President Obama three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. All recess appointments end at end of the Senate session on January 3, 2019.
Democrats have already promised to prevent such a tactic through utilizing different parliamentary procedures such as “pro-forma sessions” which are brief meetings lasting only a few minutes to keep the Senate from adjourning.
U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, advised Trump on the Senate floor not to take such action.
“In the fall of 2015 when I first spoke here on the Senate floor I gave Nebraskans and everybody in this body my word that I would speak up if a Republican president exceeded his or her powers,” he said.
“I have come to offer a word of humble advice to the President. If you are thinking of making a recess appointment to push out the Attorney General, forget about it. The Presidency isn’t a bull and this country isn’t a China shop. Mr. President, you are a public servant in a system of limited government and with a duty to uphold and to defend and to teach to our kids the Constitution’s system of checks and balances. And this, this is the world’s greatest experiment in self-government,” Sasse stated
“It works only if all of us – Presidents, Senators, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and Judges – if we all keep our faith to the American institutions and to the rule of law. Our oath is not to popularity, it’s not to polls, and it is not to political parties. Our oath is to the Constitution and to the rule of law. Our duty is to the American people, the men and women who elected us, the men and women who came before us, and especially the men and women who will come after us in this greatest of experiments in self-government,” he finished.
A word of humble advice to our President: if you’re thinking of making a recess appointment to push out the Atty General, forget about it. pic.twitter.com/7P896qJJzX
— Senator Ben Sasse (@SenSasse) July 27, 2017