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U.S. appeals court says Obama recess appointments 'invalid'

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, January 24, 2013.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, January 24, 2013.

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Friday invalidated President Barack Obama's "recess" appointments to a labor board last year, ruling that the move was unconstitutional and dealing a blow to Obama's strategy of bypassing Senate Republicans.

The three appointments to the National Labor Relations Board in January 2012 were made while the Senate was out of town but potentially available to act on them.

"Considering the text, history, and structure of the Constitution, these appointments were invalid from their inception," the panel said.

Obama also used such a "recess" appointment last January to install Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, although his appointment was not part of the lawsuit.

The suit started as a routine dispute between soda bottling company Noel Canning and the labor board, but lawyers for Senate Republicans seized on the suit as a chance to challenge the appointments.

The case was seen as a test of the limits of the president's ability to make appointments during a Senate recess, a power that bypasses the Senate's usual ability to block nominees and that dates to the U.S. Constitution of 1787.

At the time, the Senate was not officially in recess, meeting every few days for minutes at a time but accomplishing no work and with few senators present. Meanwhile, Obama's nominees remained on the Senate's calendar, blocked by Republicans from up or down votes on their confirmation.

Nancy Cleeland, a spokeswoman for the NLRB, had no immediate comment.

Cordray's appointment was challenged in a separate lawsuit brought in June by the State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas, and other institutions. That suit presented a similar argument that the recess appointment was invalid because the Senate was technically in session.

Cordray's appointment followed months of rancorous debate over the new consumer bureau, which was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial oversight law to police markets for products such as credit cards and home loans.

Once rare, recess appointments became more common in the late 1970s as a way to bypass the confirmation process, which senators have used increasingly to block nominees of both Republican and Democratic presidents.

Recent presidents pushed the boundaries. George W. Bush took the rare step of filling a judgeship during a recess, while Obama appointed the NLRB members while the Senate was holding "skeleton" sessions set up to keep it from going into recess.

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Comments

Sister_Ruby 1 year, 2 months ago

Our Founders did not want a Monarchy. So they created three separate but equal branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial (sorry Joe Biden...not Executive, House, and Senate bahahaha).

This article illustrates the benefits of why the Founders did it and thank God Almighty they did.

Obama wants to work with Congress? BS!

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J.D._Sumner 1 year, 2 months ago

"At the time, the Senate was not officially in recess, meeting every few days for minutes at a time but accomplishing no work and with few senators present. Meanwhile, Obama's nominees remained on the Senate's calendar, blocked by Republicans from up or down votes on their confirmation."

Yea this totally makes sense...

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 2 months ago

It's called a "congressional technicality"......you know, J.D.........the same thing that brought us Obamacare, which was opposed by 70% of the American people......right?

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Jimboob 1 year, 2 months ago

The Republicans said they would repeal "Obamacare" if Mittens was elected. If the American people wanted an end to "Obamacare" they had a chance to do it in November... I guess not.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 2 months ago

You are right, Jimboob. Race and Class Envy trumped all last November.

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Trustbuster 1 year, 2 months ago

People assume that anything the executive does is legal. During the famous Frost interview former President Nixon said whatever the president does is the law. Unfortunately, the former president was wrong and that is what got him into trouble during the Watergate Scandal. Everyone should reread Article II of the US Constitution concerning the powers of the executive branch. This would make a great civics refresher for citizens who are concerned about expansion of executive power.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 2 months ago

How about for those who are NOT concerned about expansion of executive power? Would it help them?

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Trustbuster 1 year, 2 months ago

Look everyone should read the constitution even our elected officials.

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waltspecht 1 year, 2 months ago

Bottom line, it is going to be appealed. If it involves the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, being brought by a Washington State Resident, anyone want to bet how they will rule? Then there is the Supreme Court. All these so called Courts are Prejudiced in one form or another. They rule by opinion and majority. If laws were correctly written, it should take a unanimous vote for a decision to be made. I know, then nothing will ever be settled will it. Everything is based on opinion, that is why we call Justices Liberal or Conservative, because we know where their prejudices reside. It is based on opinion, not fact because laws are made to be gray so Lawyers and Justices are free to interpret them.

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QUIK 1 year, 2 months ago

At the end of the day, these are the 'workings' of our government. Its sad that many people believe that their view is the only right view and so continue to be the real problem.

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bigbob 1 year, 2 months ago

At least some people are smart enough to realize this useless muslum is trying to destroy this country. If nothing else this should slow down his ditruction of the U.S. a little bit.

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chinaberry25 1 year, 2 months ago

This is not all he has done. Every time he opens his mouth, lies spew forth. Nothing he does will every surprise me anymore. The checks and balances of the land no longer hold. Not just for him, look at Phoebe, we will appeal and appeal until we get a judge who gets it right for us. This is sad for all races in USA. Most want a job and that will never be again. The Democrats do not have job creation on their plates. How do I know. Obama has not attended one of his Labor Committees in a year.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 2 months ago

Neither of the parties serve America. They serve themselves and their financiers. Eliminate the electoral college and let the people speak.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 2 months ago

Neither of the parties serve America. They serve themselves and their financiers. Eliminate the electoral college and let the people be heard.

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1d2ec 1 year, 2 months ago

How can vote buying be eliminated?

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Cartman 1 year, 2 months ago

Governing has become a contest to see who can get his way and best sidestep the checks and balances.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 2 months ago

Wouldn't it be hilarious if we found out that O'bama really was born in Kenya. Then His entire Reign...I mean Presidency would be "invalid".

I think He's going to confess, after He vacates office, that he really wasn't a natural born U.S. citizen. He's fooled the majority in every other way thus far.

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Oldguy 1 year, 2 months ago

We need a REAL PRESIDENT that represents the citizens of this great nation. Notice I said CITIZENS not illegal immigrants. Someone immune to special interest groups, minorities and terrorists. A national hero that the entire country can look up to, trust and support. We have been separated by hate groups and profit seeking entities and it has weakened the national resolve. A nation by the people and for the people needs to be foremost consideration of our elected officials again. Sad to say I see no one in the wings to fill that position. Where is our present day FDR, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Ragan or even Jimmy Carter?

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rock 1 year, 2 months ago

If Obama has his way we will all be kneeling to pay homage to the great King Obama, first king of the United States. He needs to be impeached for this, and for lying his @$$ off over the dead in Benghazi. It is not a matter of what the king and hillary knew, but what they lied about and allowed Americans to die.

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chinaberry25 1 year, 2 months ago

Next Hillary wants to follow in his footsteps, I say almost anybody except a Harvard graduate. They have all been trained to think alike. Hillary did not go to Harvard, but if she goes downhill like she has in the last 4 years, she'd never survive.

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