Court rules that another Obama labor appointee illegally served at NLRB
The Supreme Court ruled that President Obama violated the Constitution when he maintained an acting agency appointment after the Senate refused to confirm him.
The court ruled Tuesday that Obama appointee Lafe Solomon illegally served as acting general counsel to the National Labor Relations Board from 2010 to 2013. Solomon, who once violated the agency's ethics rules, should have vacated the position in accordance with the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA) after the Senate refused to take up his nomination to serve as permanent general counsel in 2011, the court found in a 6-2 opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts. The appointment was an "end-run around" the Constitution.
"We cannot cast aside the separation of powers and the Appointments Clause's important check on executive power for the sake of administrative convenience or efficiency," the majority ruled.
The decision came less than five years after the court unanimously ruled that Obama unconstitutionally recess-appointed two Democratic attorneys as NLRB board members while the Senate was still in session. That decision allowed employers and unions to challenge more than 1,000 decisions issued during those board members' brief tenure at the agency. The NLRB reheard dozens of cases as a result.