Republicans praise court ruling against Obama appointments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican congressional leaders are praising the Supreme Court for rejecting what they say was an unconstitutional power grab by President Barack Obama.

In a unanimous ruling today, the justices said Obama exceeded his authority when he made recess appointments in 2012 to fill slots on the National Labor Relations Board that required Senate confirmation.

Obama had argued that the Senate was holding "pro forma" sessions only to block him from filling the positions. But the high court says it's up to Congress to decide when it is in formal recess.

One veteran Supreme Court lawyer says the "practical effect" of the decision is to bring the rules on recess appointments back to "what just about everyone believed them to be" before Obama adopted a "significantly broader view." Andy Pincus says the Senate is able to block all recess appointments by convening pro-forma sessions -- a practice that he says began in the Bush administration. He says the power to make recess appointments has "receded into practical irrelevance."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the decision underscores the importance of the recent Senate rule change to make sure that a small number of senators can't block nominees.

%@AP Links

199-a-07-(Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky,, in remarks)-"of this behavior"-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says the court's ruling underscores the administration acted illegally in making the recess appointments. (26 Jun 2014)

<<CUT *199 (06/26/14)££ 00:07 "of this behavior"

204-c-22-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent)-"of college loans"-AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports the ruling comes a day after House Republicans vowed to file suit against Obama accusing him of exceeding his authority on lots of fronts. (26 Jun 2014)

<<CUT *204 (06/26/14)££ 00:22 "of college loans"

APPHOTO WX106: FILE -,This June 25, 2014 file photo shows President Barack Obama speaking in Washington. The Supreme Court on Thursday limited the president's power to fill high-level vacancies with temporary appointments, ruling in favor of Senate Republicans in their partisan clash with President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File) (25 Jun 2014)

<<APPHOTO WX106 (06/25/14)££

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