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Education & Labor Committee Republicans

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Left Turn: Supreme Court Rebukes President Obama

In a resounding rebuke of President Obama, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision yesterday declaring the president’s 2012 non-recess recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board unconstitutional. In response to the high court’s ruling, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN) said:

The president’s unprecedented action was one of many intended to further his own partisan agenda by circumventing the Constitution and side-stepping Congress​. Thankfully the Supreme Court has helped rein in his abuse of power and restored some checks and balances to our system of government.

Unprecedented indeed. As the Wall Street Journal notes:

The Supreme Court handed President Obama his 13th unanimous loss in two years on Thursday, and this one may be the most consequential. All nine Justices voted to overturn Mr. Obama's non-recess recess appointments as an unconstitutional abuse of power.

Over nearly 238 years of American history, the Supreme Court has never had to review the President's authority to temporarily fill vacant executive offices when Congress is adjourned. Mr. Obama's 2012 maneuver to void the Senate's advice and consent role triggered a judicial intercession, and defeats at the High Court are seldom as total as this one…

But the true import of Noel Canning is that even liberal Justices are alarmed that Mr. Obama's executive law-making is visiting real damage on the Constitution. This will not be the last legal torpedo aimed at the hull of his increasingly willful Presidency.

The impact of this unconstitutional overreach extends beyond the Supreme Court’s hallowed chamber. Hundreds of decisions were issued by an unconstitutionally-appointed board and those decisions need to be reviewed. As Chairman Kline and Rep. Roe explained:

Now the board will have to begin the process of reconsidering hundreds of decisions issued by the unconstitutionally appointed members. These cases must be a top priority for the board, not the pursuit of controversial regulatory schemes that will simply wreak further havoc on our nation’s workplaces. The men and women who were thrown in limbo by the president’s unconstitutional overreach have waited long enough for the justice they deserve.

The committee intends to closely follow the NLRB’s response to the court’s decision to ensure the rights of those individuals harmed by the president’s unconstitutional action are protected.

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