Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzPaul: Pence should oversee Senate ObamaCare repeal votes Senators introduce new Iran sanctions With no emerging leaders, no clear message, Democrats flounder MORE (R-Texas) contends the Obama administration has been "lawless" in a host of recent actions.
In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, the outspoken conservative said the president's decisions to delay portions of the healthcare reform law and install contested nominees amount to a flagrant disregard for the law and longstanding tradition.
"The pattern we've seen under President Obama, disregarding the law, is really one of the most troubling aspects of this presidency," he said. "When he disagrees with the law … he simply refuses to comply with it."
The recess appointments have been challenged because Obama became the first president to install nominees without a confirmation vote when the Senate was holding brief "pro forma" sessions explicitly intended to block recess appointments.
Both parties have held pro forma sessions lasting just a few seconds to block presidents from installing picks over Senate breaks. But the Obama administration argued those sessions do not constitute legitimate work, making the president free to put those selections in place.
Cruz also pointed to the administration's decision to delay portions of ObamaCare as another sign of disregarding the law. He also slammed Senate Democrats for invoking the so-called "nuclear option" to move stalled nominees via a Senate rule change.
Democrats had fumed for months over stalled judicial picks and other nominees Republicans have blocked, and opted to change Senate rules to allow such picks to be confirmed by a simple majority vote.
Cruz contended Democrats made the move to "pack" courts with the president's nominees who will "rubber-stamp the president's lawlessness."
"Democrats are very concerned about courts holding this administration accountable for their lawlessness," he said.