Experts: Obama Sidelined Senate

Republicans are up in arms about President Obama's decision last week to make "recess appointments" by sidestepping a sitting Senate (which was only in session for some 30 seconds, anyway) to confirm several officials—and they’ve got the support of some constitutional scholars, too. Critics say the move will signify the end of the Senate's rightful role to provide advice and consent on presidential appointments that amounts to a check on executive power, even though Senate Republicans had been using procedural rules and filibusters to block some 200 nominations. Eric Ueland, chief of staff to ex-senator Bill Frist, said Obama's move gives presidents "undiluted power," and David S. Addington, chief of staff to former vice president Dick Cheney, said Obama has violated constitutional law.