Probably one of the most important political news stories of the week (though not was well reported in the MSM as I would have thought..big surprise there), was the U.S. Supreme Court striking down President Obama's act of appointing of members to the National Labor Relations Board during a Senate recess well over two years ago.
At the time and to this day, President Obama claimed that while the Senate was holding formal meetings every three days or so back in 2012, they were REALLY in recess and thus he could appoint three new members to the NLRB as recess appointments.
Many folks (especially Republicans) immediately pointed out the rather radical idea that President Obama was ultimately making: He knows when the Senate is recess or not, not the Senate.
Heck, it was obvious that even a small-time blogger like myself pointed it out and openly denounced what the President was doing was wrong and illegal.
It took over two years, but the U.S. Supreme Court finally heard and decided this issue early this week:
"The court ruled 9-0 that Obama’s appointments were unconstitutional because the Senate was not truly in recess when he made them during a three-day break in pro forma meetings of the legislative body."
Sadly though, while the President was effectively "slapped down" in terms of what he can and can't do with his Executive authority, there is a catch to this ruling (isn't there always?).
While all nine justices agreed what the President did was an unconstitutional breach of authority, five of the nine justices decided to add something a little extra: a 10-day rule.
The majority decision found that any "recess" less than 10 days long was "presumptively too short" to allow an official recess appointment by the President. However, as the mores conservative wing of the court pointed out (led by Justice Scalia), this mention of an actual number of days could still be used for possible future abuse of the recess appointment authority of the President (regardless of who holds that office), and thus this mention of "10 days" effectively limited Congress's constitutional authority.
Regardless of the conservative wing of the Supreme Court's reservations, the ruling is still a major blow to President Obama and it could very likely put over 400 rulings/decisions made by the NLRB since 2012 in question.
The President, whether intentionally or not, greatly overstepped his bounds of authority in his actions over two years ago and now the Supreme Court has effectively "laid down the law"..But we'll have to wait and see if Justice Scalia's reservations over the majority's ruling come true..
It's too bad nobody warned the President about this possibility years ago..Oh wait, we did.