Today, Senate Republicans hired Miguel Estrada, the 2002 judicial nominee for the DC Circuit Court of Appeals filibustered by Senate Democrats, to press a lawsuit against the Obama administration. The lawsuit itself is based on President Obama’s non-recess “recess appointment” of political allies to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which oversees management-union relations; it was originally filed by Noel Canning, a soft-drink business owner who sued the NLRB over its ruling that the company had to work with a labor union.
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) came out firing today:
The president’s decision to circumvent the American people by installing his appointees at a powerful federal agency, when the Senate was not in recess, and without obtaining the advice and consent of the Senate, is an unprecedented power grab. We will demonstrate to the court how the president’s unconstitutional actions fundamentally endanger the Congress’s role in providing a check on the excesses of the executive branch.
The Senate was technically in session when President Obama made his recess appointments; he unilaterally determined that there was indeed a recess. “The Senate should decide when the Senate is in session,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) stated.