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Justices Skeptical of Appointment as Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Noel Canning

The United States Supreme Court heard 90 minutes of oral arguments in Noel Canning v NLRB, the pivotal case challenging the constitutionality of President Obama’s 2012 appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the validity of their subsequent decisions. 
 
All but one justice, Stephen Breyer, expressed skepticism throughout the day’s questioning period, indicating they have serious doubts about the Administration’s use of the recess appointment power.  
The Court’s decision in Noel Canning could have a profound impact on the remaining two years of President Obama’s tenure in the White House should Republicans win control of the Senate in November. Due to recent rules changes introduced by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) that bar the use of a minority procedural tactic known as the filibuster to stall most federal nominees, a Republican Senate would be able to reject future presidential nominees outright and would have more latitude with its declaration of recesses should the Court rule against the NLRB. Further, invalidation of the recess appointments would likely call into question any decisions or rulemakings issued during their time on the Board and bog down the NLRB as it is forced to reexamine a year of past casework.
 
A transcript of the Monday’s proceedings, including all statements given during oral arguments as well as the Justices’ line of questioning, can be viewed here on the Supreme Court’s website.
 
A ruling by the Court is not expected until June of this year. Until then, IEC will continue to keep members updated on this case.