It was a long-awaited decision from the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) on the issue of the constitutionality of President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). But this one went the right way. The decision came down Thursday and the results gave the Obama administration little maneuver room — or a platform for politicizing the results.
According to Foxnews.com, “The Supreme Court delivered a blow Thursday to President Obama, ruling that he went too far in making recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. In a unanimous decision, the high court sided with Senate Republicans and limited the president’s power to fill high-level vacancies with temporary appointments. It was the first-ever Supreme Court test involving the long-standing practice of presidents naming appointees when the Senate is on break.”
A unanimous decision is quite telling for President Obama. Of course, we know Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid altered the time-honored filibuster rule that protects the minority party — enabling the advancement of judicial appointees by simple majority. It will be interesting to see what happens with that change if the Democrats lose the Senate in November 2014.
Fox reports that “Obama had argued that the Senate was on an extended holiday break when he filled slots at the NLRB in 2012. He argued the brief sessions it held every three days were a sham that was intended to prevent him from filling the seats. The justices rejected that argument, though, declaring the Senate was not actually in a formal recess when Obama acted during that three-day window. Justice Stephen Breyer said in his majority opinion that a congressional break has to last at least 10 days to be considered a recess under the Constitution. “Three days is too short a time to bring a recess within the scope of the Clause. Thus we conclude that the President lacked the power to make the recess appointments here at issue,” Breyer wrote.”
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the administration is “deeply disappointed” in the ruling, but will honor it – you mean the same way they “honor” the healthcare law, the sovereignty of our borders, etc. etc.?
The SCOTUS decision now affects three of the Obama administration NLRB appointees, as this case arose from a dispute between the NLRB and a Pepsi-Cola distributor, Noel Canning. The NLRB had ruled against him in a labor dispute, but Canning argued that three of the five board members were improperly appointed. For reference, recess appointments only last for two years, therefore with this ruling the three Obama NLRB appointees’ terms will end. The question is of course, what of the decisions handed down by the NLRB with these three appointees — can they still stand?
The unanimous Supreme Court decision is an official confirmation that the Obama administration does possess a sense of lawlessness in its actions. Now, if we could only persuade Eric Holder to appoint a Special Investigator on the IRS case…ain’t holding my breath on that one.