On Monday, the Supreme Court heard arguments regarding whether President Barack Obama’s appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are unconstitutional. The case will probably be a lopsided defeat for the president, with his own Supreme Court appointees expressing deep skepticism of the Justice Department’s arguments.
If the Court goes the route it signaled during argument, all the rulings and regulations from that powerful body over a period of a couple years will be declared illegal, at least temporarily until a new Board can reconsider them.
For decades, presidents of both parties have strayed from the limits of the Constitution’s Recess Appointments Clause, which allows the president to fill vacancies when the Senate is in recess and therefore cannot confirm nominations. But Obama made an unprecedented power grab when he declared the Senate in recess even though that body was actually holding meetings, and stacked the NLRB with his supporters. Liberal Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan joined all the conservative justices and Anthony Kennedy in sharply questioning the legality of Obama’s actions.
While it is unclear whether the Court will rule narrowly or broadly, it does seem clear the Obama lost today at the Court, potentially by a lopsided 8-1 vote (if not unanimous against him). Breitbart News will publish a full analysis tomorrow.