Supreme Court takes up challenge to Obama’s recess appointment power
The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to rule on a president’s ability to fill vacant government positions without Senate confirmation, a decision that could overturn about 1,000 rulings issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Bloomberg News reported that the court will consider the suit by the Noel Corporation against the board, which argues that Obama’s appointments to the board were invalid because they were made while the Senate was in recess.
An NLRB board ruled in 2012 that the company violated labor practices by not honoring an agreement with the union representing its’ employees. Two federal appeals court have since ruled in favor of Noel, deciding that the president’s recess appointment powers do not kick in until after the end of a two-year congressional session, meaning nominations made during a session break are still subject to confirmation.
In its January 2013 ruling, a panel of three Republican-appointed judges for the Washington D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said it was “this difference between the word choice ‘recess’ and ‘the Recess'” that led it to consider the case, citing the “Federalist Papers” that predated the Constitution in striking the difference between a Senate break and a full recess.
The ruling also could also affect the appointment of Richard Cordray, who was selected to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at the same time as the NLRB officials.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]