The most casual political observer would have difficulty denying Washington D.C.’s dysfunction.
Some 15 months into his presidential term, President Donald Trump still has diplomatic appointees to crucial posts, such as ambassadors to Germany and South Korea, and multiple judicial appointees who are being held up by Senate Democrats.
The minority party no doubt would be quick to remind their Republican brethren of the majority’s decision not to even consider an Obama Supreme Court nominee during his final months of his second term as president.
Just as the Senate is entrusted with the express powers to offer members’ advice to the president on appointees before consenting to or voting down their appointment, the president may circumvent senators to a degree by filling these vacancies during Senate recess — the catch being that the appointments expire at the start of the next legislative session.
The theme of Law Day 2018 examines this deliberate element of the U.S. Constitution, known as “checks and balances.”
The American Bar Association suggests in the theme’s title — Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom — that the checks that each branch of government hold is essential to the success and longevity of the United States of America as a democratic republic.
The ABA attributes the genius of this notion to founding father and fourth president, James Madison.
As he explained in the Federalist Papers, “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition,” the ABA noted.
Because Madison believed that the constitution’s principles of separation of powers and checks and balances preserve political liberty.
“They provide a framework for freedom,” according to the ABA’s Law Day 2018 website. “Yet, this framework is not self-executing.
“We the people must continually act to ensure that our constitutional democracy endures, preserving our liberties and advancing our rights.”
ABA President Hilarie Bass said the examination of these principles should be an opportunity for all Americans to reflect on their role in government as citizens.
“Let us consider how power is shared in our government and how we can work together to preserve our liberties and advance our rights,” she said in an online statement.
Traditionally observed on May 1, Law Day events are planned nationwide.