Like you, I started jumping up and down with joy when I read the headline. I first thought of the gun control executive orders he issued last week. Then I wondered if it concerned the contraception mandate or insurance mandate or his refusal to enforce federal immigration laws or the Defense of Marriage Act, all of which are technically unconstitutional.
When I read further, I discovered it had to do with three recess appointments Obama made last year.
According to the ruling just issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, President Barack Obama did not have the legal authority to make the three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. The reason it was illegal was because the Senate was in session at the time and not on recess.
Going a step further, the appeals court ruled that the president can only make a recess appointment if the position being filled was vacated during an official Senate recess, which they went to define as the annual break between the official sessions of Congress. Obama’s attorney’s claim the Senate was in their holiday recess when the appointments were made, thus making them legal.
If the court’s decision is upheld, it could mean that hundreds of decisions made by the National Labor Relations Board could be nullified. That being the case, those decisions would then be re-addressed once the Senate has confirmed the existing appointments or force the President to make new ones.
Republicans had challenged the appointments claiming that Obama purposely waited until the holiday recess to make them in order to bypass them. They had previously blocked other appointments that Obama made, because they felt the appointments were very pro-union and would rule solely on the side of unions in all decisions, and not on law. In the past, Democrats had done the same thing to Republican presidents.
Obama’s appointment of Richard Courdray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Board could also be in jeopardy. That appointment was made on Jan. 4, 2012, while the Senate was still in session. A separate challenge has been launched questioning the legality of the Cordray appointment.
Jay Carney, Obama’s little White House puppet, I mean press secretary, said that presidents, both Democrats and Republicans, have been making similar appointments and that the appeals court ruling goes against 150 years of policy. He also indicated that the White House will likely appeal the decision by taking it to a higher court.
The three judge panel that ruled against Obama are all conservatives which were appointed by Republican presidents. So, yes, a court ruled that Obama violated the Constitution, but it looks like that ruling could be overturned by a more liberal higher court and Obama will once again get away with violating the Constitution as he so readily does all the time.