President Barack Obama’s recess appointments to the U.S. National Labor Relations Board last year were “constitutionally invalid” because the Senate wasn’t in recess at the time, a federal appeals court ruled.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington in a unanimous ruling today sided with Republican lawmakers and a canning company that challenged the appointments. The judges said the definition of “the Recess” in the Constitution’s Recess Appointments Clause is limited to the period between one Congress and the next, and that Congress had begun a new session at the time the president made the appointments.
This is an extremely important decision because it means that all acts taken since January 4th, 2012 are void as the NLRB had no quorum.
A body without a quorum cannot lawfully do anything except adjourn.
This also likely means that anything done by the CFPB since that date is also void for the same reason -- there has been no confirmation vote and he was appointed at the same time.
There are literally hundreds of decisions rendered by the NLRB and CFPB in the last year and, it appears, all of them are facially invalid.
Expect a flood of litigation demanding summary judgments to be filed immediately.
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