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NLRB to seek top court review of recess appointments ruling

Police officers stand on the front steps on the first day of legal arguments over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the Supr
Police officers stand on the front steps on the first day of legal arguments over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the Supr

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The National Labor Relations Board said on Tuesday it would seek Supreme Court review of an appeals court decision that raised questions about the authority of the president to make appointments without Senate approval.

In a January 25 ruling, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said that three appointments Obama made to the NLRB last year were invalid.

The court said the president did not have the authority to make these recess appointments because the Senate was not technically in recess at the time. The Constitution allows the president to make appointments when the Senate is in recess, but the appointment expires with the end of the congressional session.

The ruling meant that the NLRB does not have the required quorum to make decisions, casting doubt on its actions and rulings since the appointments were made in January 2012.

In a brief statement issued on Tuesday the board said it would seek Supreme Court review rather than asking the appeals court to rehear the case.

The board's opening brief to the Supreme Court is due on April 25.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Howard Goller)

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