Published December 23, 2016
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments Monday on whether President Obama overstepped his authority when he made temporary federal appointments in 2012 without seeking confirmation by the Senate.
But Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, has no uncertainty about whether the Obama administration sidestepped laws and protocol.
"The pattern we've seen under President Obama, disregarding the law, is really one of the most troubling aspects of this presidency," Cruz said on Fox News on Sunday. "When he disagrees with the law…he simply refuses to comply with it."
Cruz was focusing his comments on Obama’s appointment of controversial nominees to high level positions, as well as decisions he’s made regarding the implementation of the healthcare reform law.
Republicans often have complained that Obama skirts Congress on issues on which they disagree with him.
Senate Republicans' refusal to allow votes for nominees to the National Labor Relations Board and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau led the president to make the temporary, or "recess," appointments in January 2012.
Three federal appeals courts have said Obama overstepped his authority because the Senate was not in recess when he acted. The Supreme Court case involves a dispute between a Washington state bottling company and a local Teamsters union in which the NLRB sided with the union.
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned the board's ruling, and hundreds more NLRB rulings could be voided if the Supreme Court upholds the appeals court decision.
The impasse over confirming nominees to the NLRB and the CFPB was resolved last summer. And majority Democrats have since changed Senate rules to limit the ability of the minority party to block most presidential nominees, spurred by GOP efforts to block three Obama appeals court nominees.
In the Fox News interview, Cruz criticized Obama officials’ unilateral decision to delay implementing parts of the new healthcare reform law.
He also cited the Senate Democrats move to use the “nuclear option” to advance nominees through the confirmation process in order to get around the stalling by some lawmakers on a nomination.
Cruz said Democrats were trying to fill positions with people who will "rubber-stamp the president's lawlessness."
"Democrats are very concerned about courts holding this administration accountable for their lawlessness," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.