U.S. Court of Appeals rules Obama’s ‘recess’ appointments unconstitutional

President Obama unconstitutional appointmentsOn Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously ruled President Obama’s Jan. 12, 2012 controversial “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board were unconstitutional.

According to the Washington Times the decision is a “major blow” to the President:

The judges ruled that the appointments Mr. Obama made to the National Labor Relations Board are illegal, and the board no longer has a quorum to operate. But the ruling has even broader constitutional significance, with the judges arguing that the president’s recess appointment powers don’t apply to ‘intrasession’ appointments — those made when Congress has left town for a few days or weeks.

The judges signaled the power only applies after Congress has adjourned sine die, which is a legislative term of art that signals the end to a long work period. In modern times, it means the president could only use his powers when Congress quits business at the end of a year.

The Associated Press elaborated, “The three-judge panel ruled that the Senate technically stayed in session when it was gaveled in and out every few days for so-called “pro forma” sessions.” The article said it is a tactic used by both Republicans and Democrats to prevent a President from bypassing the senate nomination process.

It is expected the Obama administration will appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, and if upheld, “it means hundreds of decisions issued by the board over more than a year are invalid.”

Read the AP article in the Washington Post here:

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