OA378: Trump’s Stupid Threat to “Adjourn” the Senate (A Primer on Appointments)

Today’s episode breaks down the latest threat by Donald Trump to “adjourn” the House and Senate, and explains why a) you shouldn’t be scared and b) he’s unlikely to do it. This is a stunt designed to distract us from how badly Trump has handled COVID-19; we recognize we’re sort of falling for it, so we’re bringing you a deep dive on appointments and good news as well!

We begin, however, with that good news, including an update on the HUGE VICTORY for the forces of democracy in Wisconsin in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s shameful decision that we discussed in Episode 376. And, to pile on, we talk about good news in all of the abortion cases, even those in Texas!

After that, it’s time for the main segment breaking down whether Trump can adjourn the House and Senate (probably), whether he will (almost certainly not), and why not (because there’s not much to be gained and a ton to risk). Along the way, we’ll do a deep dive into NLRB v. Noel Canning, a 2014 Supreme Court decision that constrains Presidential “recess appointments” — which is what Trump would presumably adjourn the Senate to do.

Then it’s time for a brand new #T3BE about an aunt who changes her mind about selling her business to her niece. Can she be sued? Listen and find out! And, as always, if you want to play along on social media just share out this episode along with your answer!


None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, event, or in front of your group, please drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Here’s Trump’s threat to adjourn Congress.
  2. We begin with an analysis of the Senate’s rules on advice-and-consent in approving Presidential appointments.
  3. You’ll want to read NLRB v. Noel Canning, 134 S.Ct. 2550 (2014).
  4. Finally, here’s the Tweet by Steve Vladeck with which Andrew disagrees.

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