Supreme Court limits President Obama's appointments power - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Supreme Court limits President Obama's appointments power

Posted: Updated:

The Supreme Court on Wednesday limited the president's power to fill high-level vacancies with temporary appointments, ruling in favor of Senate Republicans in their partisan clash with President Barack Obama.

The court's first-ever case involving the Constitution's recess appointments clause ended in a unanimous decision holding that Obama's appointments to the National Labor Relations Board in 2012 without Senate confirmation were illegal. Obama invoked the Constitution's provision giving the president the power to make temporary appointments when the Senate is in recess.

Problem is, the court said, the Senate was not actually in a formal recess when Obama acted.

Obama had argued that the Senate was on an extended holiday break and that the brief sessions it held every three days were a sham that was intended to prevent him from filling seats on the NLRB.

The justices rejected that argument Wednesday.

The issue of recess appointments receded in importance after the Senate's Democratic majority changed the rules to make it harder for Republicans to block confirmation of most Obama appointees.

But the ruling's impact may be keenly felt by the White House next year if Republicans capture control of the Senate in the November election. The potential importance of the ruling lies in the Senate's ability to block the confirmation of judges and the leaders of independent agencies like the NLRB. A federal law gives the president the power to appoint acting heads of Cabinet-level departments to keep the government running.

Still, the outcome was the least significant loss possible for the administration. The justices, by a 5-4 vote, rejected a sweeping lower court ruling against the administration that would have made it virtually impossible for any future president to make recess appointments.

The lower court held that the only recess recognized by the Constitution is the once-a-year break between sessions of Congress. It also said that only vacancies that arise in that recess could be filled. So the high court has left open the possibility that a president, with a compliant Congress, could make recess appointments in the future.

A recess appointment can last no more than two years. Recess appointees who subsequently won Senate confirmation include Chief Justice Earl Warren and Justice William Brennan, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, two current NLRB members and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray. Former UN Ambassador John Bolton is among recess appointees who left office because they could not win a Senate vote.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • UPDATE: High Drive brush fire now 100% contained

    UPDATE: High Drive brush fire now 100% contained

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:19 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:19:20 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- On Monday afternoon a brush fire broke out on the west side of Spokane's South Hill. The fire, which broke out around 3pm, was burning on the hill between High Drive and Qualchan Golf Course. By 9pm Monday night the fire was 100% contained. This does not necessarily mean the fire is totally out, but that crews are confident it won't spread and will be out soon.
    SPOKANE, Wash.- On Monday afternoon a brush fire broke out on the west side of Spokane's South Hill. The fire, which broke out around 3pm, was burning on the hill between High Drive and Qualchan Golf Course. By 9pm Monday night the fire was 100% contained. This does not necessarily mean the fire is totally out, but that crews are confident it won't spread and will be out soon.
  • Poulsbo man accused of impersonating police

    Poulsbo man accused of impersonating police

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:08 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:08:43 GMT
    BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) - A 21-year-old Poulsbo man is accused of impersonating police after he activated red and blue emergency lights to get another vehicle to pull over. The Washington State Patrol says Trevor Schwarz was stopped in Kitsap County early Monday after a caller reported that a truck had tried to pull them over using emergency lights, passed them and then ran a red light.
    BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) - A 21-year-old Poulsbo man is accused of impersonating police after he activated red and blue emergency lights to get another vehicle to pull over. The Washington State Patrol says Trevor Schwarz was stopped in Kitsap County early Monday after a caller reported that a truck had tried to pull them over using emergency lights, passed them and then ran a red light.
  • Small plane crashes in north-central Idaho

    Small plane crashes in north-central Idaho

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:34 AM EDT2014-07-29 13:34:27 GMT
    OROFINO, Idaho (AP) - A small, home-built airplane has crashed in the Clearwater National Forest near the Idaho-Montana border, killing the pilot.The Clearwater County sheriff's office says a crew with Two Bear Air Helicopter of Whitefish, Montana, spotted the wreckage Monday west of Lolo Pass. The sheriff's office identified the pilot as 72-year-old Milon Meyer, of Richland, Washington.
    OROFINO, Idaho (AP) - A small, home-built airplane has crashed in the Clearwater National Forest near the Idaho-Montana border, killing the pilot.The Clearwater County sheriff's office says a crew with Two Bear Air Helicopter of Whitefish, Montana, spotted the wreckage Monday west of Lolo Pass. The sheriff's office identified the pilot as 72-year-old Milon Meyer, of Richland, Washington.
Powered by WorldNow

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.