Executive authority suffered a blow this week when the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Pepsi distributor Noel Canning in a dispute over president Barack Obama’s use of an arcane “recess appointments” clause to load the National Labor Relations Board with pro-union choices.
“The Supreme Court decision demonstrates that President Obama seriously erred in his attempt to circumvent Congress when he packed the NLRB with pro-union advocates. The court rightfully defended and protected the constitutional role of the U.S. Senate to provide advice and consent on executive appointments,” NRF SVP of government relations David French said in a statement. “While the decision does not affect the current composition of the NLRB since new board members have been seated with Senate consent, it does invalidate several important board decisions that will now have to be considered again by the new board.”
French went on to state that the decision is a reminder that there are appropriate limits to the unilateral exercise of executive authority, an issue which Obama has been subjected to criticism from Republicans during his second term.
“Rather than continuing the use of executive power to expand the regulatory reach of Washington, retailers and other job creators would encourage the White House to work with all stakeholders to fashion compromise solutions that address our shared economic challenges,” French said.
The 108-page U.S. Supreme Court decision was support by an NRF friend-of-the-court brief which argued that Obama’s use of recess appointments to fill vacancies on the NLRB was unconstitutional and that actions taken while questionable appointees were in office should be vacated.