Obama NLRB Recess Appointments Unconstitutional
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has joined the DC Circuit and Third Circuit in holding President Barack Obama’s recess appointments of three NatioObama NLRBnal Labor Relations Board members were unconstitutional.
The dispute arises from three NLRB appointments the President made on January 4, 2012—appointments made while the Senate was on a holiday break but still in session. Although the administration claimed that “the break qualified as a recess because there were not enough senators at work to conduct business,” the Fourth Circuit—in addition to previous holdings by the DC Circuit and the Third Circuit—disagreed. Specifically, the court held that “the framers of the Constitution meant to limit recess appointments to the period between congressional sessions, and that’s how it was done until a 1921 attorney general’s opinion.”
As a result of this decision, and the previous circuit court decisions, hundreds of NLRB decisions may possibly be invalidated.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the D.C. case.