Last January, President Obama did something that every civics class teaches presidents are not allowed to do under our Constitution. Although the Senate was not in recess, he unilaterally “recess-appointed” four officials to executive posts, three of them to the National Labor Relations Board. The move allowed Obama to avoid the constitutionally mandated Senate confirmation process for all four – temporarily, at least.
This wrong was righted on Friday, when a three-judge panel on the D.C. federal appeals court unanimously struck down the three NLRB appointments on constitutional grounds.
The ruling comes as a surprise only to the journalists and editorial writers who framed this story so wrongly in the first place. Instead of recognizing these appointments for what they were – an obvious abuse of power to deliver an easy election-year favor for organized labor– America’s most important newspaper editorial boards praised Obama for his boldness.