By Tom Watts
Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, holding that President Obama’s NLRB appointees exceeded his recess appointments power due to the Senate’s pro forma sessions. For a summary of the decision, I suggest the excellent coverage on SCOTUSblog or Eric Posner’s piece for Slate (which also features his rendition of the Founders’ text messages — worth it for that alone). Interesting commentary can also be found in the Washington Post and the New Yorker.
Although the decision was unanimous in the judgment, the majority and concurrence read much like a traditional 5-4 decision, with the liberals and Justice Kennedy opposing the conservatives. Justice Scalia went so far as to read his concurrence from the bench. Dissenters occasionally do this (for example, Justice Stevens did so in Citizens United), but this was highly unusual for a concurrence. Eric Posner (linked above) described Justice Scalia as “blow[ing] a gasket.” [Read more…] about Congress on Recess: Noel Canning