WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee issued statements Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided in National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning that President Obama’s appointments to the Relations Board were unconstitutional.
Together, 41 Senate colleagues filed an amicus brief in the case, decided Thursday, arguing that these appointments were unconstitutional. That effort came after a letter in December 2012, signed by every Senate Republican, which called on President Obama not to appoint nominees to the National Labor Relations Board without Senate approval.
Sen. Orrin Hatch said:
Today, the Supreme Court emphatically rejected President Obama’s brazen efforts to circumvent the Constitution, bypass the people’s elected representatives, and govern above the law. The Court’s unanimous decision demonstrates how the President’s actions contradicted both constitutional text and longstanding precedents that enshrine the Senate’s legitimate role in federal appointments. The Court has reaffirmed the Senate’s vital advice-and-consent role as a check on executive abuses. I applaud the Court’s willingness to stand up to President Obama’s flagrantly unconstitutional power grab. This decision strengthens my determination to stand up for the separation of powers against the President’s disturbing pattern of lawlessness.
Sen. Mike Lee said:
On January 3, 2012 the President ignored the Constitution and attempted to circumvent the Senate by unilaterally making important appointments to controversial executive agencies. Although past presidents have made recess appointments, the appointments President Obama attempted to make were different. The President attempted to change the Senate’s rules and define for himself when the Senate is in session and when it is in recess. The Supreme Court’s decision today – in which all nine justices, including President Obama’s own nominees, held that President Obama violated the Constitution – makes plain that the President’s actions were truly unprecedented and unauthorized.
Regardless of whether the President is a Democrat or a Republican, Members of Congress have a duty to support the Constitution and defend the Senate’s prerogatives. That is why I took measures to oppose President Obama’s unconstitutional recess appointments, including speaking out against these appointments at every opportunity and opposing the President’s nominees until the Senate imposed the Leahy-Thurmond rule in the summer of 2012.
- Decision: Noel Canning v NLRB, Appellate Court Decision
- Friends-of-the-Court Brief: Noel Canning v NLRB (CADC No 12-1115) – Amicus Brief for Sen McConnell et al
- The Senators’ letter to Obama December 19, 2011: 12.19.11 Letter to POTUS re NLRB Nominees
- Court rules Obama NLRB appointments unconstitutional; breaking it down, Utah senators react
- Hatch, 39 other senators send letter to Obama: NLRB appointees must step down
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