Supreme Court Blocks Presidential Recess Appointments

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that three of President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor board were unconstitutional. The appointments were made during a three-day break between pro forma sessions, which the court ruled 9-0 was not a true recess under the Recess Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Justice Stephen Breyer, on behalf of the majority, wrote that recesses less than 10 days long are too short to permit recess appointments. Just Breyer wrote that the President should not be allowed to make recess appointments “when the Senate Declares that it is in session and possesses the capacity under its own rules, to conduct business.”

Justice Antonin Scalia issued a concurring opinion for himself and three colleagues, arguing that the majority decision did not go far enough in limited the President’s ability to make recess appointments. They believed that the vacancies would have to be created during a recess to constitutionally allow a president to make appointments. “The Court’s decision transforms the recess-appointment power from a tool carefully designed to fill a narrow and specific need into a weapon to be wielded by future Presidents against future Senates,” he wrote.”

The Washington Post: Supreme Court Rebukes Obama on Recess Appointments

Supreme Court: NLRB v. Noel Canning Et Al

Politico: Supreme Court Strikes Down Obama Recess Appointments

Representative Patrick McHenry Appointed Chief Deputy Whip

Soon-to-be House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana named Representative Patrick McHenry to be his chief deputy whip on Thursday. They will assume their new leadership positions when current Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia steps down from his leadership position on July 31.

The Washington Post reported that Representative McHenry thanked Representative Scalise for appointing him to the position, saying, “I look forward to working with him, our five Senior Deputy Whips, and the rest of the whip team to support a conservative, pro-growth agenda that will improve our economy, create jobs, and help middle class families.” Those five representatives named to the senior whip team are Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Dennis Ross of Florida, Aaron Schock of Illinois, Steve Stivers of Ohio, and Ann Wagner of Missouri.

Politico: Steve Scalise Picks Patrick McHenry as Chief Deputy Whip

The Washington Post: Rep. Patrick McHenry Named GOP Chief Deputy House Whip

And for our latest post: Using the “Pen and Phone” to Blur the Separation of Powers

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