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Friday, April 26, 2013

Administration Seeks Supreme Court Review of NLRB Recess Appointments

The Obama administration filed a petition yesterday asking the Supreme Court to review a district court ruling that negated three of the President’s appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). 

This is of particular interest since the NLRB appointments were made on the same day as the President’s appointment of Richard Cordray to be Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director. 

Cordray's nomination has continued to be scrutinized by Congressional republicans, the most recent example is House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling's (R-Texas) letter to Cordray, explaining that the committee would not invite the director to testify because of pending litigation related to the constitutionality of Cordray’s appointment.

The district court had ruled that the NLRB appointments were unconstitutional because the Senate was not actually in recess at the time, and also that recess appointments could only be made between sessions of Congress.

The Administration argued in its petition yesterday that, if left to stand, the lower court’s ruling “would dramatically curtail the scope of the President’s authority under the Recess Appointments Clause,” and “would deem invalid hundreds of recess appointments made by Presidents since early in the nation’s history.”

Read Hensarling's letter.