Mad Dog Mattis, the 7 Year Delay Provision, and the Appointments Clause

President Elect Donald Trump has announced that he will be nominating James “Mad Dog” Mattis to be Secretary of Defense.  However, a statute requires “retired military officers to be out of uniform for seven years before they can become the civilian head of the armed forces.”  While it seems quite possible that Congress will be willing to pass a law exempting Mattis from the requirement, a question is whether the requirement is constitutional.  The main issue is whether the Constitution (1) allows the Congress to establish qualifications for offices or (2) gives to the President and the Senate the full…

Read More