Obama’s not-so-secret cabal

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.

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