President Obama violated the Constitution when he made appointments to the National Labor Relations Board in January 2012, a federal appeals court said.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled those positions should have been filled by the Senate. Obama contended that he was within his rights to as the Senate was in a holiday recess, but the three-judge panel decided that as the Senate was "gaveled in and out" every few days during the 20-day period, it was technically still in session.

The ruling affects Obama's appointment of Deputy Labor Secretary Sharon Block, NLRB counsel Terence Flynn and union lawyer Richard Griffin.

It also calls into question the appointment of Richard Cordray to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


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