Supreme Court weighs in on Obama's recess appointments

The Supreme Court of the United States announced Monday that it will decide whether President Barack Obama exceeded his constitutional authority by making appointments while the Senate was on break.

The case, National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, centers on three NLRB appointments Obama made last year.

The ruling is expected next term.

In January, a federal appeals court ruled presidents may make recess appointments only between formal sessions of Congress that happen each year, not during breaks.

Recent presidents have made appointments during both kinds of recesses. Historically American presidents have used the recess appointments to push through candidates when the Senate has either failed to act or opposed their choices.

The case could have far reaching effects on limiting executive power.

In its brief, the administration said that the lower court's ruling “threatens a significant disruption of the federal government’s operations" and more broadly, "would render many of the recess appointments since the Second World War unconstitutional.

The announcement came the same day the court handed down a handful of decisions including a ruling on affirmative action, which sent Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin back to a lower court for renewed scrutiny.

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