Grassleys comment reflects the broad understanding that the Justice Department believes recess appointments were impossible if Congress was meeting in pro forma sessions every few days, as it has been. Obamas decision to recess-appoint Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and three members of the National Labor Relations Board, upended that long-held opinion.

Regardless, the president needs to make clear why there was a change in position and what rationale the White House counsel used to overturn more than 90 years of Justice Department precedent,” Grassley said.

The White House should make the rationale public. The public’s business ought to be public. And the president promised to run the most transparent administration in history.