Justice prevails! In a two-year saga, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled President Obama violated the Recess Appointments Clause of the Constitution when he appointed Sharon Block, Richard Griffin, and Terence Flynn to the National Labor Relations Board, during a three-day recess of the Senate.
The Recess Appointments Clause allows the president to fill vacancies during a recess of the Senate, but should not be used as a loophole for the president to avoid Senate approval on appointments. This is at the center of the argument that those appointments were invalid from lacking quorum due to the short duration of the recession.
The latest Supreme Court ruling upheld the president’s right to fill vacancies during a recess, however, the decision provided further clarification on “recess” to not include intra-session recesses (which was the case two years ago) and ruled that vacancies could only be filled if they are to first come into existence during the recess.
This ruling has now brought hundreds of cases up for reconsideration by a new, lawfully appointment board. Stay tuned for updates on the resolution of these cases and new appointments to the board.