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Nearly 40 Republican Senators Vow to Derail Cordray Appointment

Thirty-nine Senate Republicans vowed Friday to challenge several recent recess appointments, including one that installed Richard Cordray as ""Consumer Financial Protection Bureau"":http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ (CFPB) director, by turning to the courts.

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An ""open letter"":http://images.politico.com/global/2012/02/senate_gop_amicus_intent_letter_3_feb_12.pdf signaled that the lawmakers will also contest appointments to the ""National Labor Relations Board"":https://www.nlrb.gov/.

""American democracy was born out of a rejection of the monarchies of Western Europe, anchored by limited government and separation of powers,"" Sen. ""John Cornyn"":http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/public/ (R-Texas) said in a statement. ""We refuse to stand by as this President arrogantly casts aside our Constitution and defies the will of the American people under the election-year guise of defending them.""

Republican lawmakers who did not sign the pledge include Sens. ""Scott Brown"":http://www.scottbrown.senate.gov/public/ (R-Massachusetts), ""Thad Chochran"":http://cochran.senate.gov/ (R-Mississippi), ""Dean Heller"":http://heller.senate.gov/public/ (R-Nevada), ""Mark Kirk"":http://www.kirk.senate.gov/

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(R-Illinois), ""Jeff Sessions"":http://www.jeffsessions.com/index.html (R-Alabama), ""Richard Shelby"":http://shelby.senate.gov/public/ (R-Alabama), ""Olympia Snowe"":http://snowe.senate.gov/public/ (R-Maine), and ""Roger Wicker"":http://wicker.senate.gov/public/ (R-Mississippi).

None indicated whether the senators would join any suits filed in January, including one by the ""National Federation of Independent Business"":http://www.nfib.com/press-media/press-media-item?cmsid=59160 or another by the ""National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation"":http://www.nrtw.org/en/blog/news-release-nlrb-recess-challenges-pending-cases-01302012.

Many of the signers released another open letter Thursday with questions for Senate Majority Leader ""Harry Reid"":http://reid.senate.gov/ (D-Nevada) over his past role as a supporter of pro-forma sessions as a tactic to block recess appointments.

Sen. ""Saxby Chambliss"":http://chambliss.senate.gov/public/index.cfm (R-Georgia), who also signed the pledge for legal redress, said in a statement that an ""apparent shift"" in Reid's opinion ""raises a number of concerns. Most specifically, it appears that you believe the importance of preserving [the] Senate's constitutional role in the nomination and appointment process varies depending on the political party of the President.""

For his part, President ""Barack Obama"":http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/president-obama continues to trumpet his recess appointments, spotlighting Cordray more recently in both his State of the Union address and in speeches he makes as he barnstorms across the country in an election year.

The ""Justice Department"":http://www.justice.gov/ released a legal opinion in January that sided with the Obama administration and argued against the validity of a pro-forma session as a way to keep the Senate out of recess.

The memo said that the administration was correct to recess appoint Cordray and others since lawmakers did not in reality conduct any business.

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.
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