Wicker: Supreme Court Should Strike Obama’s Recess Appointments

Roger Wicker: The Supreme Court should strike down Obama’s unconstitutional recess appointments

Ruling could have a major impact on the Power of the Presidency

Two years ago, President Obama defied the Constitution’s limits on executive power with three appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Rather than allow the Senate to provide “advice and consent” on executive nominees, the President declared that Congress was in recess and simply installed his nominees by executive order. As federal appeals courts would later decide, the President’s unilateral action was in violation of our government’s separation of powers.

Now the Supreme Court is reviewing the case, known as National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning. The ruling – which is not expected until June – could have a major impact on the future power and scope of the executive branch. Although the Constitution allows for presidents to make recess appointments, President Obama is the first to attempt to do so when the Senate was in “pro forma” session and conducting congressional business. “Pro forma” sessions have been used in the past under both Democratic and Republican leadership to block recess appointments.

The Wicker Report newsletter, January 19, 2014