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The Constitution's "appointments clause" requires that very senior federal officials be appointed with the Senate's consent, though lesser appointments can be made by the president, agency heads or the courts, as Congress provides. Well-established Supreme Court precedent holds that an "officer" subject to these requirements is one who exercises "significant authority pursuant to the laws of the United States."
This is the critical difference between the White House czars and federal officials who must be confirmed by the Senate. In the absence of legislation (such as that creating the Office of Drug Control Policy, whose director is the "drug czar"), the only power exercised by White House czars comes from their proximity to the president and the access this provides. Yes, as many will note, that truly is power. But it is not significant authority under U.S. law -- which only the Constitution or Congress can confer.
Thus, White House "Energy and Environment Czar" Carol Browner can analyze, develop, advise, hold meetings and pound the table all she likes on energy and environment issues, but she can determine nothing. Her signature on any order, decision or regulation establishing or altering Americans' legal obligations would be meaningless, unenforceable by a court.
Contrast this with Browner's authority as Senate-confirmed administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton administration, when her signature on regulations gave them the force and effect of law, fully enforceable in the courts, not infrequently by substantial fines and even jail time.
Last week President Obama appointed yet another “czar” with massive government power, answering only to him. Even before this latest appointment, the top-ranking Democrat in the Senate wrote President Obama a letter saying that these czars are unconstitutional. President Obama’s “czar strategy” is an unprecedented power grab centralizing authority in the White House, outside congressional oversight and in violation of the Constitution.
As of last week, Czar Kenneth Feinberg has the authority to set the pay scale for executives at any company receiving government money (and how many aren’t, these days?). Czar Feinberg has the power to say that someone’s pay is excessive, and to make companies cut that pay until the czar is pleased.
Congress did not give Czar Feinberg this authority.
Over the past thirty years presidents have each had one or two czars for various issues, and once the number went as high as five. But now, by some counts President Obama has created sixteen czars, and there may be more on the way. Each of these has enormous government power, and answers only to the president.
Originally posted by johnny2127 Its when these advisors or Czars have powers and administer policy decisions and they are not approved by Congress.
Originally posted by jibeho
Here is the breakdown of czars. Take note of how many were created by Obama vs. those that existed prior. Of those preexisting, the majority were Senate confirmed. Of the 17 czar positions created by Obama only ONE was confirmed by Senate.
For one thing, Congress would have to make these laws. We do remember how government works, don't we?