He has the well-earned reputation of being the "a hawk's hawk in the Bush administration" (Corn, 2005). For instance, when the Bush administration did not get UN's backing for its war in Iraq, Bolton observed that was "further evidence to many why nothing should be paid to the UN system." (Ibid.)
Officials who have worked under him, invariably describe Bolton as a bully. At his confirmation hearings in the Senate, a former colleague accused Bolton of harassing an intelligence analyst who challenged his findings on biological weapons in Cuba and called Bolton a "classic kiss-up, kick-down kind of guy." (Bosco, 2005) Questions have even been raised about his integrity: he received payments from a $100 million secret Taiwan government slush fund and submitted pro-Taiwan testimony to Congress in the 1990s without revealing he was a paid consultant to Taiwan. (Corn, 2005)
Of course, once the President had decided to nominate John Bolton as the Ambassador to the UN, the best way to do so was by using the "recess appointment" power since there was strong opposition to the move in the Senate. The Democrats had resorted to filibustering and even some Republicans had reservations about his appointment. The before joining the Bush administration. Attempts to end the debate had failed on two occasions as the Republicans failed to secure the required number of votes to end filibuster. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee had also refused to endorse his candidacy ("John R. Bolton," 2005).
What Do you Think About the Recess Appointment Power?
Although the "Recess Appointment Power" of the U.S. President is strictly constitutional, it is open to mis-use by the executive. In normal circumstances, when a vacancy occurs in one of the posts of Federal government officials, the President nominates an individual to fill the position and the Senate votes to either confirm or reject the President's nominee. The intention of the framers of the constitution while inserting the "recess appointment" clause, had clearly intended to prevent delays in appointment of important government officials when the Senate was not in session. It was certainly not intended to be used by the President as a tool for circumventing the expected opposition from the Senate to a nominee.
An examination of the history of the use of "recess appointment" power by various U.S. Presidents indicates that it has frequently been used to do just that. For example, President Theodore Roosevelt made several recess appointments during a one-day recess of the Senate; President Eisenhower appointed three justices during recesses, immediately before an election: all were confirmed by a new Congress; President Kennedy appointed Thurgood Marshall to the bench during a Senate recess to avoid opposition from Southern senators -- he was confirmed in the following Congressional session. ("Recess Appointment" 2005)
In my view, Bolton's recent recess appointment is the latest in the long series of the attempt by the executive to undermine the delicate framework of checks and balances that are at the core of American democracy.
Bosco, David. (2005). "The World According to Bolton." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. July/August 2005 pp. 24-31 (vol. 61, no. 04). Retrieved on November 10, 2005 at http://www.thebulletin.org/article.php?art_ofn=ja05bosco
Corn, David. (2005). "Bush Gives the UN the Finger." The Nation. Posted 03/08/2005. Retrieved on November 10, 2005 at http://www.thenation.com/blogs/capitalgames?bid=3&pid=2245
John R.Bolton. (2005)." From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved on November 10, 2005 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_R._Bolton
Recess Appointment." (2005). From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved on November 10, 2005 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recess_appointment
Slavin, Barbara and Nichols, Bill. (2003). "Bolton a 'guided missile.'" USA TODAY. Posted 11/30/2003. Retrieved on November 10, 2005 at http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-11-30-bolton-usat_x.htm
What is a Recess Appointment?" (2005). This Nation.com. Retrieved on November 10, 2005 at http://www.thisnation.com/question/010.html
Under normal circumstances, when a vacancy occurs in one of such posts, the President nominates an individual for the position and the Senate votes to either ratify or reject the President's nominee
J.D." is an abbreviation for Juris Doctor, also called Doctor of Jurisprudence
Filibustering is an attempt by the legislature to obstruct a decision by using up the time available for discussion through an extremely long speech