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Monday, July 21, 2014

Justices Find NLRB Recess Appointments Invalid

Today's post was shared by WSJ Law Blog and comes from

President Barack Obama exceeded his authority in appointing three National Labor Relations Board members during a brief Senate break in 2012, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, holding that presidents may only exercise their appointment powers during recesses of 10 or more days.
WSJ’s Jess Bravin and Melanie Trottman have a break down of the decision:
The decision provides a narrow win for employers who contested the validity of labor board rulings made by the recess appointees. But by a 5-4 vote, the court refused to virtually eliminate the president’s power to fill vacancies when the Senate wasn’t transacting business, as a lower court had done.
The majority opinion, by Justice Stephen Breyer, cited more than a century of historical practice that has treated the recess power more broadly, saying that was entitled to judicial respect. Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined him.
Justice Antonin Scalia, in a separate opinion, said the majority gave too broad an interpretation of the president’s power to fill positions without the Senate’s consent. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito joined him.
The case came from a labor dispute involving a Pepsi bottler in Washington State, the Noel Canning unit of Noel Corp., which contested a National Labor Relations Board ruling that it had unlawfully refused execute a collective­ bargaining agreement with a labor...
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