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Obama's Unconstitutional 'Czars'
(LPAC) -- Although several Presidents have had "czars" - a special advisor to the President on a particular issue - President Obama, in a mere 8 months, has far exceeded the use of czars by any previous Administration, having appointed at least 32, the latest being Lazard's Ron Bloom as "manufacturing" czar. 25 new czar positions were created by Obama.
A "czar" is not subject to the Appointments Clause of the federal Constitution, under which officers of the United States are subject to Senate confirmation ("advice and consent"), and which applies to all Cabinet secretaries and many subordinate positions. The Constitution allows "inferior officers" to be appointed by the President or Department heads - but a czar who is more powerful that a Cabinet secretary, or who has more access to the President than a Cabinet secretary, hardly qualifies as an "inferior" officer.
As Fox News has pointed out, one of the early czars was President Nixon's National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, who often bypassed both the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State.
Czars also enable a President to evade Congressional oversight, since a President can assert "executive privilege" in the face of a request, or even a subpoena, for testimony from his advisors.
As such, the use of czars is a threat to the system of checks & balances enshrined in the federal Constitution, and is thus a step toward the tyranny which our Founding Fathers sought to prevent. And it is also a direct repudiation of Obama's own campaign promises for a more transparent and accountable government.
PRESIDENTIAL "CZARS"   * = position newly-created by Obama
*  Afghanistan Czar: Richard Holbrooke
*  AIDS Czar: Jeffrey Crowley
*  Auto recovery Czar: Ed Montgomery
*  Border Czar: Alan Bersin
*  California Water Czar: David J. Hayes
*  Car Czar: Ron Bloom (now Manufacturing Czar)
*  Central Region Czar: Dennis Ross
*  Domestic Violence Czar: Lynn Rosenthal
*  Drug Czar: Gil Kerlikowske
*  Economic Czar: Paul Volcker
*  Energy and Environment Czar: Carol Browner
*  Faith-Based Czar: Joshua DuBois
*  Great Lakes Czar: Cameron Davis
*  Green Jobs Czar: Van Jones (resigned 9/6)
*  Guantanamo Closure Czar: Daniel Fried
*  Health Czar: Nancy-Ann DeParle
*  Information Czar: Vivek Kundra
*  International Climate Czar: Todd Stern
*  Intelligence Czar: Dennis Blair
*  Manufacturing Czar: Ron Bloom
*  Mideast Peace Czar: George Mitchell
*  Pay Czar: Kenneth Feinberg
*  Regulatory Czar: Cass Sunstein
*  Science Czar: John Holdren
*  Stimulus Accountability Czar: Earl Devaney
*  Sudan Czar: J. Scott Gration
*  TARP Czar: Herb Allison
*  Terrorism Czar: John Brennan
*  Technology Czar: Aneesh Chopra
*  Urban Affairs Czar: Adolfo Carrion Jr.
*  Weapons Czar: Ashton Carter
*  WMD Policy Czar: Gary Samore
U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 2: "He (the President) shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consults, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein provided for, and which shall be established by law; but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments."
Rep. Mike Pence: "The Constitution of the United States vests Congress with the responsibility to advise and consent in the appointment of high ranking officials by the President. To date, President Obama has appointed more than thirty individuals to czar positions within his Administration without permitting the Congress or the American people to properly examine their backgrounds or public records."
Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV): "The rapid and easy accumulation of power by White House staff can threaten the constitutional system of checks and balances," wrote Byrd. "At the worst, White House staff have taken direction and control of programmatic areas that are the statutory responsibility of Senate confirmed officials."
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