Appellate court finds NLRB appointments unconstitutional

President Obama’s Jan. 4 recess appointments of three people to the National Labor Relations Board are constitutionally invalid because the U.S. Senate technically was not in recess, three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled today. The NLRB is an independent federal agency that protects employees’ rights to form labor unions and addresses claims of unfair labor practices. Unless the decision is reversed at a higher level, the ruling could invalidate hundreds of NLRB decisions, according to media reports. Republicans and a number of business groups hailed the ruling as a victory. NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce said the board “respectfully disagrees with today’s decision and believes that the president’s position in the matter will ultimately be upheld.”