The decision, if not overturned on appeal, would invalidate the appointments of, among others, three sitting members of the five-member National Labor Relations Board, who had been given recess appointments in 2011. The standing of the acting head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Board would also be in jeopardy.
That in turn could allow all of the decisions made by the NLRB since these appointees took office to be challenged, as could the regulations promulgated by the consumer protection board.
According to this editorial in The New York Times, citing the Congressional Research Service, “652 appointments by Presidents Reagan through Obama would have been blocked by those rules, because they came during breaks in Senate sessions or, even though they came during gaps between sessions, the actual vacancies did not occur in the gaps.”
The Obama administration announced two weeks ago that it would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, but the high court is not likely to rule until some time next year.
So what kind of chaos is this causing at the affected agencies in the interim? Are the two agencies completely paralyzed? Are their rulings being challenged and held in abeyance? What other agencies are affected? What about the rulings of judges who might have decided cases while sitting on the bench through these recess appointments? This story is not exactly sexy but it’s likely causing havoc all over the executive and maybe even the judicial branches
The Times did report early last month that “more than 100 companies have asked the courts to rule that the labor relations board lacked a quorum—and thus had no authority to act against them.” I’d like to know what some of the most important of these cases involve, and what other challenges to other agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, have sprung up.
Put simply, who’s benefiting the most from this new DC monkey wrench, and who’s getting hurt?
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