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June 26, 2014

Inhofe Statement on Supreme Court Ruling of "Recess" Appointments

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today welcomed the Supreme Court's unanimous ruling that President Obama's "recess appointments" to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were unconstitutional. 

"The Supreme Court's unanimous ruling today confirmed the President's disregard for the law when he skirted Congress and made unconstitutional appointments in January 2012 while the Senate remained in session," said Inhofe. "The President knew his controversial nominees did not have the support needed to pass the Senate. He took matters into his own hands and ignored the will of the people, much like he has done on a number of other issues during his Presidency from costly cap-and-trade regulations to the rollout of ObamaCare. This ruling serves as a reminder that the Constitution will always govern this land and must be respected, even by the President."

Background:

On September 26, 2012, Inhofe joined 41 Republican colleagues in filing an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in support for the lawsuit filed by Noel Canning (Canning v. NLRB) The brief argues that by declaring the Senate to be in a continual period of recess when it had determined to be in session regularly, the president usurped the Senate’s authority to establish the Rules of its own proceedings.  It also argues that by appointing high-level federal officers (National Labor Relations Board and Consumer Financial Protection Board members) without the Senate’s consent and when it was not in “recess” within the meaning of the Recess Appointments Clause, he took away its right to review and reject nominations.

Before the U.S. Senate adjourned for the end of 2011, Senate Republicans also sent a letter to President Obama warning him to not appoint controversial nominees during recess. However, the Senate never adjourned and instead conducted a pro forma session of Congress. During a pro forma session, the president does not have authority to make recess appointments.

 

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