Oh no Justice Sotomayor, we want Congress to take as many recesses as possible

January 13th, 2014

A Congress that never takes a recess, and works every day, would be a bad, bad thing. From Noel Canning:

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: But why? You’re making an assumption, which is that the Senate has to take a recess. But the Senate could choose, if it wanted to, and I think there might be some citizens that would encourage it to, to never recess.

GENERAL VERRILLI: Sure. Of course, it could.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: And — and to work every day, which -­


JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: — lots of people do.

GENERAL VERRILLI: That’s true. They could — they could decide not to take a recess.


To quote Twain, “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.”

Update: Thankfully,  Justice Kagan reminds us that “there’s no such thing truly as congressional absence anymore.”

You know, absence in this day and age -­this is not the horse and buggy era anymore. There’s no real — there’s no such thing truly as congressional absence anymore.

Update 2: And Noel Francisco describes our Congress aptly, unintentionally.

That’s a consequence of advice and consent. That problem arises not just when the Senate takes breaks, but when the Senate is in session. The senate could show up every day for an hour, sit at their desks, and announce to the President: We’re not going to do anything, no nominations, no legislation, because we don’t like what you’re doing. And by the way, the only reason we’re showing up here at our desks and sitting here for one hour a day is because we don’t want you to be able to make recess appointments. Nobody would claim that the Senate was in recess during those sessions. Well, that is effectively what it was doing here.