The Daily Caller (along with many other news sources) is reporting today that the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled that President Obama’s appointments to the National Labor Relations Board made during the time that the President declared that the Senate was in recess are unconstitutional. The President does not have the power to declare whether or not the Senate is in recess–that is up to the Senate.
The article reports:
The Jan. 25 ruling came after Republican senators filed a case arguing that Obama did not have the power to appoint top-level officials via a “recess appointment” if the Senate says it is in session.
Obama made that claim when he announced the appointment of two people to the National Labor Relations Board in January 2012.
The appointments allowed the board to subsequently issue a series of pro-labor, anti-business decisions. Following the court’s ruling, the board’s decisions are now vulnerable to a series of lawsuits.
Obama used the same claim to appoint Democratic lawyer Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in January 2012.
The Landmark Legal Foundation further explains:
…three appointments to the five-member NLRB by President Obama made on January 4, 2012, under the Constitution’s Recess Appointments Clause (Article II, Section 2, Clause 3), were not valid because the Senate was not in recess at the time the appointments were announced.
There have been a number of rulings by the NLRB and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since these recess appointments. Theoretically all those actions will be nullified because the people making the decisions were not legally entitled to make them.
The specific case that was ruled on was Noel Canning v. National Labor Relations Board. I am sure that we have not heard the end of this.