Rule of Law

RELEASE: No, President Trump May Not Unilaterally Adjourn Congress

WASHINGTON – After President Trump announced his intention unilaterally to adjourn Congress, claiming that he could “exercise my constitutional authority to adjourn both chambers of Congress,” Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra issued the following reaction:

This is simply not how our Constitution works, and President Trump should not distort constitutional meaning to further pack the courts with dangerous ideologues. While Article II, Section 3 of our Constitution references a President’s ability to convene Congress in certain limited “extraordinary” circumstances and to adjourn both houses of Congress “in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment….” there is no disagreement between the House and Senate. In short, the President is supported by neither the text nor history of these constitutional provisions. As we reel from the damage that the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked upon our nation’s people, it’s a shame to see President Trump use this as an opportunity to do damage to our nation’s founding charter, as well.


Constitutional Accountability Center is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history. Visit CAC’s website at