For 1,060 days of his presidency, Barack Obama refused to nominate enough members of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight board to constitute a quorum. That made it impossible for the PCLOB to carry out its legally-mandated job of collecting information on civil liberties violations by the executive branch of government and sharing that information with Congress and the public.
Finally, on December 15 2011, nearly three years into his presidency, Barack Obama got around to nominating members to sit on the Board. This means a new count begins, as the Senate Judiciary Committee takes on the responsibility of holding hearings and voting on the confirmation of those members.
It’s been 1 month and 18 days since Obama’s nominations went to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate Judiciary Committee — controlled by Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy — hasn’t taken any action at all on the nominations. No confirmation vote, no hearings, no hearings scheduled.
Will we go an entire presidential term without the board’s oversight of the privacy and civil liberty record of the Obama administration?