The Supreme Court just ruled against President Barack Obama's recess appointments. The Supreme Court had specifically ruled that Obama violated the constitution by going around and attempting to make appointments to the National Labor Relations Board while the Senate was technically still in session in 2012.
The decision was unanimous in judgement, and because of that it preserves the recess appointment power much as it was prior to Obama's confrontation with Congress three years ago.
The Supreme Court just stopped short of limiting these appointments to remote periods and circumstances. Though they still nullified actions that Obama took while the Senate was holding "pro-forma" sessions every three days for the specific purpose of preventing such executive actions. Justice Stephen Breyer said:
"Because the Senate was in session during is pro forma sessions, the president made the recess appointments before us during a break too short to count as recess, for that reason the appointments are invalid."Justice Stephen Breyer continues to say:
"We hold that, for purposes of the Recess Appointments Clause, the Senate is in session when it says it is, provided that, under its own rules, it retains the capacity to transact Senate business. The Senate met that standard here."While Justice Antonin Scalia had wrote this:
"The need the recess appointment clause was designed to fill no longer exists, and its only remaining use is the ignoble one of enabling the president to circumvent the Senate's role in the appointment process,and that the majority opinion would have the effect of aggrandizing the presidency beyond its constitutional bounds and undermining respect for the separation of powers."This fight goes back all the way to 2011, when Republicans were trying to prevent appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, their goal was to prevent both from function properly. The NLRB focuses on labor disputes, and the CFPB was setup to help regulate financial institutions during our 2008 recession. Though The republicans were trying to stop every function those agencies were trying to perform.
Now that the Supreme Court has made their ruling, the hundreds of decisions made by the labor board while under the control of Obama's recess appointments in 2012 and half of 2013 will be called into question, but up to this date Obama has made up to 32 recess appointments, but he did it to get around the Senate. Unfortunately for Obama this led to the Supreme Court ruling against him.
[ Image via en.wikipedia.org ]