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Court: Obama Labor Relations Appointments Unconstitutional

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Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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WASHINGTON— A federal appeals court has ruled that President Barack Obama violated the Constitution when he bypassed the Senate to fill vacancies on a labor relations panel.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit says Obama did not have the power to make recess appointments last year to the National Labor Relations Board.

Obama claims he acted properly because the Senate was away for the holidays. But the court says the Senate technically stayed in session when lawmakers gaveled in and out every few days for so-called “pro forma” sessions.

The Obama administration is expected to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

The ruling also threw into question Obama’s recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Cordray is a former Ohio attorney general.

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