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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Courts - "Court Rejects Obama Move to Fill Posts"

Updating ILB posts from Friday on the recess appointment decision, Charlie Savage and Steven Greenhouse of the NY Times had this front-page coverage in the Jan. 26th print edition of the Times. Some quotes:

WASHINGTON — In a ruling that called into question nearly two centuries of presidential “recess” appointments that bypass the Senate confirmation process, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday that President Obama violated the Constitution when he installed three officials on the National Labor Relations Board a year ago. * * *

But the court went beyond the narrow dispute over pro forma sessions and issued a far more sweeping ruling than expected. Legal specialists said its reasoning would virtually eliminate the recess appointment power for all future presidents at a time when it has become increasingly difficult to win Senate confirmation for nominees. * * *

Presidents have used recess appointments to fill vacancies that opened before a recess since the 1820s, and have made recess appointments during Senate breaks in the midst of sessions going back to 1867. But the three judges, all appointed by Republicans, said the original meaning of the words used in the Constitution clashed with subsequent historical practices. * * *

Among the decisions that could be vacated are three recent rulings in which the board has assumed a powerful role in telling companies that they cannot issue blanket prohibitions on what their employees can say on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

The ILB posted about the NLRB ruling that social net speech is protected in this Jan. 22nd entry, quoting another NYT story.

"More Than 300 Labor Board Decisions Could Be Nullified" is the headline of this NYT companion story Saturday, also by Mr. Greenhouse, that begins:

The National Labor Relations Board has been thrown into a strange legal limbo — with the possibility that more than 300 of its decisions over the last year could be nullified — as a result of a federal appeals court ruling on Friday that President Obama’s recess appointments to the board were invalid.

By ruling that Mr. Obama’s three recess appointments last January were illegal, the federal appeals court ruling, if upheld, would leave the board with just one member, short of the quorum needed to issue any rulings. The Obama administration could appeal the court ruling, but no announcement was made on Friday.

If the Supreme Court were to uphold Friday’s ruling, issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, it would mean that the labor board did not have a quorum since last January and that all its rulings since then should be nullified.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 27, 2013 04:13 PM
Posted to Courts in general