Nolan McCarty

Recent Articles

Those Recess Appointments

Almost fifteen years ago, Rose Razaghian and I wrote a paper that examined the underlying causes of increasing delays in the confirmation of executive branch appoints (not surprisingly, partisan polarization was the main culprit). Recess appointments did not quite fit into our framework as we focused on the time between nomination and Senate confirmation. Fortunately, at the time, recess appointments were rare enough and for positions insignificant enough that we could ignore them and still publish the paper in a good journal. I doubt that is the case anymore. Recess appointments are increasingly common and are used for much higher level positions. If one were to update the work I did with Razaghian, no self-respecting editor would let the authors treat recess appointments as glibly as we did. As things have evolved over the past fifteen years, there is nothing unusual in that President Obama used the power to make recess appointments to seat Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer...