Noel Canning v. NLRB: DC Circuit Court of Appeals Rules President Obama’s Recess Appointments were Invalid
On Friday, January 25, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, ruled that President Obama’s “recess appointments” of three National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) members was unconstitutional. At issue was whether the President illegally invoked the Recess Appointments clause of Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution when he filled three existing vacancies on the NLRB during pro forma sessions of Congress (President Obama had maintained that Congress was actually not in session). Attorneys for Noel Canning argued that, since the recess appointments were illegal, the NLRB lacked a quorum when it ruled that the company violated various provisions of the National Labor Relations Act, and, therefore, the NLRB ruling was invalid and unenforceable. A three-member panel consisting of Chief Judge David Santelle, and Circuit Judges Thomas Griffith and Karen Henderson concurred.
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