View Full Version : Court: Obama appointments to labor panel are unconstitutional

01-25-2013, 02:08 PM
WASHINGTON – President Obama violated the Constitution when he bypassed the Senate to fill vacancies on a labor relations panel, a federal appeals court panel ruled Friday.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said that Obama did not have the power to make three recess appointments last year to the National Labor Relations Board.

The unanimous decision is an embarrassing setback for the president, who made the appointments after Senate Republicans spent months blocking his choices for an agency they contended was biased in favor of unions.

The ruling also throws into question Obama's recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Cordray's appointment, also made under the recess circumstance, has been challenged in a separate case.

Obama claims he acted properly in the case of the NLRB appointments because the Senate was away for the holidays on a 20-day recess. But 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.

GOP lawmakers used the tactic -- as Democrats have in the past as well -- to specifically to prevent the president from using his recess power. GOP lawmakers contend the labor board has been too pro-union in its decisions. They had also vigorously opposed the nomination of Cordray.

The Obama administration is expected to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, but if it stands, it means hundreds of decisions issued by the board over more than a year are invalid. It also would leave the five-member labor board with just one validly appointed member, effectively shutting it down. The board is allowed to issue decisions only when it has at least three sitting members.

On Jan. 4, 2012, Obama appointed Deputy Labor Secretary Sharon Block, union lawyer Richard Griffin and NLRB counsel Terence Flynn to fill vacancies on the NLRB, giving it a full contingent for the first time in more than a year. Block and Griffin are Democrats, while Flynn is a Republican. Flynn stepped down from the board last year.

Obama also appointed Cordray on the same day.

The court's decision is a victory for Republicans and business groups that have been attacking the labor board for issuing a series of decisions and rules that make it easier for the nation's labor unions to organize new members.


01-25-2013, 05:33 PM
Well, it's a place to start.

Would have preferred Obamacare being unconstitutional, but it's nice to hear that some judges somewhere have guts.

01-25-2013, 05:49 PM
Oh, but it's the GOP's fault:


In a segment this morning discussing the breaking news that a panel of judges on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously ruled that some of President Obama's recess appointments had been made in an unconstitutional manner, MSNBC's Thomas Roberts turned to network contributor and former Democratic Senate staffer Jimmy Williams for his reaction.

Williams conceded the the court had ruled correctly, but rather than chiding the president for violating his oath of office with unconstitutional appointments, he blamed Senate Republicans for driving Mr. Obama to do so. For his part, Roberts agreed, mumbling "mm hmm" in reply to the ex-lobbyist's partisan swipe:

..."The problem with it is this never would have happened had the Republican senators not been filibustering these Republican nominees to begin with."

01-25-2013, 06:30 PM
One would think that a board that dictates labor policy to employers would be unconstitutional, but it's a start.

01-26-2013, 12:48 PM
Tell me what attracts flies again ...?

I like the way the National Review phrases it ...

Hoist on His Own Petard (http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/338896/hoist-his-own-petard-todd-gaziano)

President Obama seems to take pleasure in acting unilaterally in matters that are properly shared with Congress, especially if his acting alone energizes his base and dispirits conservatives and others who cling to constitutional order. He may believe it is worth taking the risk that a court will overturn a few of his illegal actions. But what if a court does more than simply invalidate the actions themselves?

Today, a unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down President Obama’s purported “recess appointments” of three members of the NLRB — and went further in rebuking the administration in three important respects.


Our unilateral president must take his unilateral medicine. The administration may appeal today’s loss to the entire D.C. court, but that is also dangerous, since there are other grounds on which the court might sustain the ruling >>>

My prediction: The justices will take the case and may narrow the grounds for striking down the illegal appointments. But I don’t think a Supreme Court majority will see any pressing need to contort the Constitution to uphold these unilateral actions.

Of course like all the other court rulings made against the anointed mercedes marxists admin, the NLRB is going to ignore this ruling as the steam roller plows ahead unfettered.

01-26-2013, 04:05 PM
Read the history of FDR's attempt to "pack the Supreme Court".