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June 26, 2014 AT 11:40 AM
The U.S. Supreme Court reined in presidential power on Thursday, ruling that President Barack Obama went too far when he filled senior government posts without seeking U.S. Senate approval, but the justices stopped short of a more sweeping decision limiting executive authority. In a ruling that will constrain future presidents, the court held on a 9-0 vote that the three appointments Obama made to the U.S. National Labor Relations Board in 2012 were unlawful. The decision limits the ability of presidents to make so-called recess appointments without Senate approval. Although the court was unanimous on the outcome, the nine justices were divided 5-4 on the legal reasoning. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a fiery opinion, joined by his conservative colleagues, saying he would have gone further in limiting the recess appointment power. Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court's regular swing vote, joined liberal colleagues in the majority.