Court says Obama recess appointments invalid

by Matt Canham, The Salt Lake Tribune  |  published on January 29, 2013

Mike Lee

A federal appellate court ruled Friday that three of President Barack Obama’s recess appointments were unconstitutional, siding with Senate Republicans, all of whom joined in on the complaint.

But no senator fought harder against Obama’s move to place three people on the National Labor Relations Board than Utah Sen. Mike Lee.

He not only joined his GOP colleagues in a friend-of-the-court brief, he also waged a solo protest by voting against all of the president’s appointments for a year. That protest brought Lee considerable criticism from even members of his own party who said it allowed Obama to paint Republicans as partisan obstructionists. Lee also testified before a House committee on the matter.

The senator relished the decision by the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

“Today’s decision represents vindication of the principled stand I have taken against the president’s disregard of our nation’s Constitution,” Lee said in a statement. “The court’s ruling today is a sober reminder of how far detached this administration has become from our constitutional heritage and the rule of law.”

Obama not only named three members to the labor board, but he also placed Richard Cordray at the head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Jan. 4, 2012, while the senators were on their holiday break.

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