Brennan Nominationby Senator Jerry Moran
Posted on 2013-03-06
MORAN. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Kentucky, and I
would like to ask a series of questions.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kansas.
[[Page S1173]] Mr. MORAN. First, let me outline a thought I had in listening to this conversation and ask the Senator a question about it.
We have seen the actions of our President to be determined unconstitutional in a recent case in the court of appeals in the District of Columbia--a case in which the President made the determination he could determine the definition of a recess in the Senate--and so we now have a court that has declared the President's conclusion in that regard to be unconstitutional.
I don't know that we want to get into the magnitude or evaluating what constitutional violations are most damaging to the American people or to our rights and liberties, but I would ask the Senator to compare the consequences of the President being wrong once again in regard to the constitutionality of utilizing a drone strike to end the life of an American citizen. Again, I am suggesting that we have seen precedent where the President acts unconstitutionally. Fortunately, the legal process is there to make certain a determination is made as to the constitutionality of that act.
In this case, what would be the consequences of a drone strike as compared to whether an appointment to an administrative body under the recess clause is constitutional? Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, I think the analogy is apt. The difference is a recess appointment you get to make your appeal to a court while still living, which makes a big difference. In the case of the recess appointments, the President decided he could determine when the legislative branch was in session or out of session. So you have the same sort of conflict again.