“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wonderboy's Illegal Appointment of Elizabeth Warren

For a president who promised the most transparent administration in history, the establishment of the newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and appointment of Harvard professor, lawyer and scold Elizabeth Warren provide evidence that Wonderboy's promise was and continues to be a lie.

The Wall Street Journal's editorial on the subject in this past weekend's edition, Elizabeth III, makes this clear.

Here's how the new bureaucracy has been situation to avoid, at least in the administration's opinion, the necessity of having Warren nominated and confirmed to head it.

The bureau is officially organized to report to the Treasury Secretary, but its head, Warren, will become an assistant to Wonderboy.

According to the recently-passed financial sector regulatory legislation, however, the bureau is actually part of the Federal Reserve, with its budget provided by that entity, rather than an explicit Congressional allowance.

The Constitution is clear that any "Officers of the United States" are subject to Senatorial confirmation. Given Wonderboy's heavy verbal buildup up Warren and her spanking-new Bureau, you'd think she qualifies. But that would mean she'd have to pass muster with the Senate. And these days, even the Democratically-controlled upper chamber isn't considered a rubber stamp for Warren.

And, according to the Journal article,

"On July 21, Mr. Obama signed a bill passed by both Houses stating that the "Director shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate."

That phrase would now seem to have the force of law, thus requiring Warren to be confirmed by the Senate. The Journal editorial ends by observing,

"We have here another end-run around Constitutional niceties so Team Obama can invest huge authority in an unelected official who is unable to withstand a public vetting. So a bureau inside an agency that it doesn't report to, with a budget not subject to Congressional control, now gets a leader not subject to Senate confirmation. If Dick Cheney had tried this, he'd have been accused of staging a coup."

It makes me wonder what might happen if a) Republicans gain control of both Houses and require Warren's confirmation, and/or b) the next president, presumably a Republican, simply leaves the new bureau unled and unstaffed.

This newly-created and ominously-named Consumer Financial Protection Bureau surely is among the most strangely-devised, organized and 'led' of perhaps any ever created in the federal government.

As to its probably effect on the financial sector, more on that in a subsequent post on my companion business blog.

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