In a stinging rebuke to President Obama, the Supreme Court voted unanimously to strike down his recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board as unconstitutional.
The Thursday 9-0 verdict ruled that the Senate was not truly in recess when Obama made his controversial appointments, as Senate Republicans had claimed all along, and that his 2012 NLRB appointments were illegal, Politico reported.
Obama made the appointments during a 20-day break, but the gavel was struck every three days to call the Senate into session as a formality, even though no business was conducted.
“Today, the Supreme Court emphatically rejected President Obama’s brazen efforts to circumvent the Constitution, bypass the people’s elected representatives, and govern above the law,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, in a statement released Thursday. “The Court has reaffirmed the Senate’s advice-and-consent role as a check on executive abuses.”
The significance of the ruling may be most keenly felt in 2015, if Republicans capture the Senate in November. Since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid changed the rule of confirmation for most appointments to a simple majority, Republicans would be able to block the president’s future nominees for judgeships and agency heads.