A federal Appeals Court invalided President Obama’s “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). All of the Board’s actions for 2012 are invalid. (Do the taxpayers get a refund?) No new rulings from the Board are possible until members are validly appointed and there is a quorum. Without the “recess” appointments, the Board now has only a single member.
An independent government agency, the NLRB investigates and prosecutes unfair labor issues and runs elections for labor union representation.
In January 2012, the President appointed three people to the NLRB when the Senate was on a holiday break. He asserted that he was permitted to do under his recess appointment powers from the Constitution. However, the Senate wasn’t technically in recess. Every three days, a “pro forma” session occurred with just a few members present and no business intended.
The decision is Noel Canning v. NLRB, No. 12-1115 (January 25, 2013).