Another Appeals Court Invalidates Obama’s NLRB Recess Appointments

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that President Obama’s three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board last year were unconstitutional.

In a lengthy opinion reviewing two separate petitions challenging NLRB decisions, the appellate court ruled that the decisons were invalid because the board lacked a quorom of constitutionally appointed members.

“[W]e conclude that the President’s three January 4, 2012 appointments to the Board are constitutionally infirm, because the appointments were not made during ‘the Recess of the Senate.’ Accordingly, we deny the Board’s applications for enforcement of its orders,” the court wrote.

The two challenges consolidated in the ruling were by the Enterprise Leasing Company and Huntington Ingalls, both of whom sued to block NLRB decisions regarding their labor practices.

Earlier this year, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals also invalidated President Obama’s recess appointments to the NLRB. The agency appealed, and the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case next term.

4th Circuit NLRB Ruling

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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