The Origins and Meaning of 'Vacancies that May Happen During the Recess' in the Constitution's Recess Appointments Clause
Robert G. Natelson
The Independence Institute; Montana Policy Institute
December 19, 2013
Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 37, Page 199, 2014
There has been longstanding uncertainty about the meaning of “the Recess” and “Vacancies that may happen” in the Constitution’s Recess Appointments Clause. This Article finds that both “the Recess” and close variants of “Vacancies that may happen” were standard terms in Founding-Era legislative practice, and appear copiously in legislative records. Those records inform us that “the Recess” means only the inter-session recess and that a vacancy “happens” only when it first arises.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 41
Keywords: recess appointments, recess appointments clause, Constitution, presidential appointments, original meaning, original understanding, original intent, originalism
JEL Classification: K1, K10, K19Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 1, 2013 ; Last revised: December 19, 2013
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