Ruling against Obama

U.S. Supreme Court justices often are called upon to interpret difficult, highly technical points of law and the Constitution. At least some of them may be grateful this week includes a no-brainer.

It is a case involving President Barack Obama’s unconstitutional appointment of members of the National Labor Relations Board.

NLRB members, like many high-level executive branch officials, normally are nominated by the president, then confirmed by the U.S. Senate. But two years ago, when some senators balked at Obama’s NLRB nominees, he installed them himself.

Obama used a “recess appointment” to appoint the NLRB members without Senate approval. Such appointments can be made when the Senate is in recess, unavailable to deal with a president’s nominees.

Previous presidents have abused the power, but not to the extent Obama did. Three federal courts already have ruled against him.

Obama made the appointments during a period in which the Senate was holding “pro forma” sessions once each three days. Such sessions often do not include enough senators to take action. Still, under the Constitution, they are sessions – not recesses.

Justices have several technical issues to address in the case. The bottom line is whether the president acted constitutionally, however. Clearly, he did not. That should make it easy for the high court to rule against him and curb at least one of the Obama administration’s excesses.