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Court says Obama’s NLRB appointments unconstitutional

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that President Obama exceeded his constitutional authority by appointing three members of the National Labor Relations Board while the Senate was in recess.

For more on this story, read the Washington Post’s coverage by Robert Barnes.

The court ruled that the NLRB’s decisions during the past year are invalid because the appointees, which included Sharon Block, Terence F. Flynn and Richard E. Griffin, were not properly assigned to their positions.

The NLRB said in a statement Friday that it disagreed with the court’s ruling and plans to carry on with its mission. “The parties who come to us seek and expect careful consideration and resolution of their cases, and for that reason, we will continue to perform our statutory duties and issue decisions,” the release said.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said at a daily briefing on Friday: “The decision is novel and unprecedented, and it contradicts 150 years of practice by Democratic and Republican administrations. We respectfully but strongly disagree with the ruling.”

Republican leaders on Friday applauded the court’s decision.

In a statement Friday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) called the ruling “the right decision” and said “the appointments were made in this fashion so these agencies could begin promulgating job-killing regulations without Congressional oversight.”

House Speaker John Boehner issued a statement calling the decision “a victory for accountability” and said the boards members should be “approved by the people’s representatives.”

The Justice Department, which argued on behalf of the NLRB, released a statement Friday saying, “We disagree with the court’s ruling and believe that the President’s recess appointments are constitutionally sound.”

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