WASHINGTON — The Obama Administration asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to reverse a federal appeals court decision that nullified its recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.
The case could have implications for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, who was recess appointed on the same day as the NLRB members but was not included in the original court challenge.
In a brief filed with the high court, the Obama administration's petition challenges the lower court's conclusion that the NLRB appointments were invalid because the Senate was not technically in recess at the time.
The petition claims the ruling denies the president his Constitutional right to make recess appointments and threatens to invalidate "hundreds of recess appointments made by Presidents since early in the nation's history."
The petition was first noticed by the Scotusblog on Thursday afternoon.
At issue is the timing of the recess appointments, which were made in January of last year. The Obama administration argues that the Senate was effectively in recess, even though it was holding sessions that lasted less than a minute for the express purpose of preventing recess appointments.
But a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in January of this year that Obama did not have the authority to make the recess appointment.
In its petition, the Obama administration argues the appeals court erred in its decision.
The ruling "potentially calls into question every order issued by the National Labor Relations Board since January 4, 2012, and similar reasoning could threaten past and future decisions of other federal agencies," the petition said. "Review of the court's constitutional holdings is warranted."