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White House: Court’s recess appointment ruling has ‘no impact’ on NLRB operations

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

President Obama’s spokesman denounced the invalidation of the so-called ‘recess’ appointments as a “novel and unprecedented ruling,” adding that the decision has “no impact on the ongoing operations of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

“The decision is novel and unprecedented,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said during the press briefing. “It contradicts 150 years of practice by Democratic and Republican administrations. so, we respectfully but strongly disagree with the ruling.” Carney said that over 280 intrasession recess appointments have been made since 1867.

Obama made the appointments at a time when, by Senate rules, Congress was in session. “An interpretation of ‘the Recess’ that permits the President to decide when the Senate is in recess would demolish the checks and balances inherent in the advice-and-consent requirement, giving the President free rein to appoint his desired nominees at any time he pleases, whether that time be a weekend, lunch, or even when the Senate is in session and he is merely displeased with its inaction,” the D.C. Circuit Court ruled. “This cannot be the law.”

Carney said that the ruling would not impede the NLRB’s work. “It does not have any impact, as I think the NLRB has already pointed, out on their operations or functions,” he said, adding that “it has no bearing on Richard Cordray . . . It simply doesn’t as a legal matter. I’m not going to predict what happens in the future, but in terms of this case, it does not bear on Mr. Cordray.”

Cordray was ‘recess appointed’ to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on the same day as the NLRB appointees. “It’s one court, one case, one company,” Carney said.

Senate Republicans joined the lawsuit in this case to oppose the NLRB appointments. “This decision now casts serious doubt  on whether the President’s ‘recess’ appointment of Richard Cordray to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which the President announced at the same time, is constitutional,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement today.

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