Keeping Recess Appointments in Their Place

7 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2007

See all articles by Brian C. Kalt

Brian C. Kalt

Michigan State University College of Law


This is a response to Seth Barrett Tillman's piece in Northwestern Law Review's Colloquy entitled Senate Termination of Presidential Recess Appointments. In that piece, Tillman argues that the Senate can terminate a presidential recess appointment by terminating its session. This brief response argues three main points:

(1) Tillman misreads the Constitution in asserting that the Senate has the ability to end a bicameral congressional session without the House of Representatives' concurrence.

(2) Tillman underestimates the power that the President has over Senate sessions and adjournments. Moreover, during any Tillman adjournment, the President could simply redo any recess appointment that is being terminated. There is precedent for such presidential action.

(3) If the Senate wishes to hem in the President's recess appointment power, it has other options besides this ineffectual and needlessly provocative one.

Keywords: President, Senate, Congress, Recess Appointment, Recess, Appointment, Adjournment

JEL Classification: K00, K19

Suggested Citation

Kalt, Brian C., Keeping Recess Appointments in Their Place. Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy, No. 3, 2007, Michigan State University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 04-15 , Available at SSRN:

Brian C. Kalt (Contact Author)

Michigan State University College of Law ( email )

318 Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300
United States
517-432-6987 (Phone)
517-432-6879 (Fax)

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