Three of the Obama administration’s appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, for some time, were invalid, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously today, because they bypassed the Senate as “recess appointments” while the Senate actually was in session.
The result came in NLRB v. Noel Canning et al., a case in which Canning, a businessman, challenged an NLRB on the grounds that the board didn’t have a quorum, because three appointments had been invalid. The Court’s opinion was written by liberal justice Stephen Breyer.
Both the House and the Senate, the Court ruled, have the power to call pro forma Senate sessions, during which the president can’t make recess appointments.
What exactly happens to the NLRB decisions made by the board populated with invalid members isn’t clear.