Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2013 file photo, a view of the Supreme Court can be seen from the view from near the top of the Capitol Dome on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a clash between President Obama and Senate Republicans over the power granted the president in the Constitution to make temporary appointments to fill high-level positions. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Top court to consider president’s recess power
First Published Jan 12 2014 10:45 pm • Last Updated Jan 12 2014 10:45 pm

Washington • The Supreme Court is refereeing a politically charged dispute between President Barack Obama and Senate Republicans over the president’s power to temporarily fill high-level positions.

The case being argued at the high court Monday is the first in the nation’s history to consider the meaning of the provision of the Constitution that allows the president to make temporary appointments to positions that otherwise require Senate confirmation but only when the Senate is in recess.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The court battle is an outgrowth of increasing partisanship and the political stalemate that’s been a hallmark of Washington for years, and especially since Obama took office in 2009.

Senate Republicans’ refusal to allow votes for nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) led Obama to make the temporary, or recess, appointments in January 2012.

Three federal appeals courts have said Obama overstepped his authority because the Senate was not in recess when he acted.

The Supreme Court case involves a dispute between a Washington state bottling company and a local Teamsters union in which the NLRB sided with the union. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned the board’s ruling. Hundreds more NLRB rulings could be voided if the Supreme Court upholds the appeals court decision.

More broadly, if the justices ratify the lower court ruling, it would make it nearly impossible for a president to use the recess power. Under such a ruling, presidential nominees could be blocked indefinitely when the president’s party does not control the Senate.

The impasse over confirming nominees to the NLRB and the CFPB was resolved last summer. Majority Democrats have since changed Senate rules to limit the ability of the minority party to block most presidential nominees.

A few hours after the court hears the case Monday, the Senate is scheduled to vote on the nomination of Robert Wilkins, a federal trial judge, to serve on the federal appeals court in the District of Columbia. Senate Democrats changed the rules over fierce Republican opposition after the GOP had blocked the nomination of Wilkins and two others to the appeals court.




Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.