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DEVELOPING: Obama recess appointments unconstitutional, says U.S. Court of Appeals

DEVELOPING: Obama recess appointments unconstitutional, says U.S. Court of Appeals

Steve Dinan
January 25, 2013 | 11:41AM

In a case freighted with major constitutional implications, a federal appeals court on Friday overturned President Obama’s controversial recess appointments from last year, ruling he abused his powers and acted when the Senate was not actually in a recess.

The three-judge panel’s ruling is a major blow to Mr. Obama. The judges ruled that the appointments Mr. Obama made to the National Labor Relations Board are illegal, and the board no longer has a quorum to operate.

But the ruling has even broader constitutional significance, with the judges arguing that the president’s recess appointment powers don’t apply to “intrasession” appointments — those made when Congress has left town for a few days or weeks.

The judges signaled the power only applies after Congress has adjourned sine die, which is a legislative term of art that signals the end to a long work period. In modern times, it means the president could only use his powers when Congress quits business at the end of a year.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/25/federal-cour...