Jun 26, 2014 - 11:00am

Recess Appointment Decision is 'a Victory for the Rule of Law'

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United States Supreme Court
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg.

The U.S. Supreme Court has dealt a blow to presidential appointment power, ruling unanimously that President Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in 2011 were invalid.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce praised the Supreme Court’s decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning. The Chamber helped to bring this case for its client and member, Noel Canning, challenging the president’s unconstitutional recess appointments to the NLRB.

“Today’s decision is a victory for the rule of law,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber.  “The President’s unprecedented recess appointments left the NLRB in a legal limbo, causing major uncertainty for both employers and employees alike. The Chamber was pleased to support its member, Noel Canning, in this case and believes the Court made the right decision.”

The case hinged on the issue of the president’s power to make so-called “recess appointments” when the Senate, which would normally have to approve them, is not in session. “This is a classic executive versus legislative power issue,” said Peter D. Keisler, partner at Sidley Austin LLP in October. “The Justices will have to go back to first principles on the historical structure of government.”

The case will have a direct impact on companies involved in disputes with employees because it essentially invalidates more than 1,200 NLRB decisions that have been issued since August 2011 when the NLRB lacked a quorum to do business, and require them to be reconsidered.

Learn more at the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center

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About the Author

About the Author

Sheryll Poe is a former senior writer at the U.S. Chamber, who covered public policies affecting businesses including the three "T's" - transportation, trade and taxes.