In response to Bush’s use of the recess appointment power to bypass the Senate confirmation process, Senate Democrats in late 2007 adopted a new defensive posture. A member would gavel the Senate into pro forma session every few days in order to prevent it from going into recess over the holidays, thereby denying the president the legal ability to make any more recess appointments. It did the trick. As Times reporter Charlie Savage put it, “Senate Democrats repeated the move during breaks for the rest of Mr. Bush’s presidency, and Mr. Bush did not try to make any further recess appointments.”

Like George W. Bush before him, President Barack Obama has also invoked the recess appointment power under dubious circumstances. But unlike Bush, Obama decided to bulldoze right over the inconvenient fact that the Senate was conducting a pro forma session at the time. …

So how did the editorial board of The New York Times respond to this decision? …

In an unsigned editorial titled “A Court Upholds Republican Chicanery,” the Times blasted the D.C. Circuit for placing limits on Obama’s authority. “With no sign that Republicans are willing to let up on their machinations, Mr. Obama was entirely justified in using his executive power to keep federal agencies operating,” the editorial declared.