Va. appeals court invalidates NLRB appointments

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A third federal appeals court has declared President Barack Obama’s recess appointments of three members of the National Labor Relations Board unconstitutional.

A divided three-judge panel of the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling Wednesday, refusing to enforce two NLRB decisions. Federal appeals courts in the District of Columbia and Philadelphia have issued similar rulings, and the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the D.C. case.

In all three cases, the courts ruled the Senate wasn’t really in recess when Obama filled the vacancies during a holiday break in January 2012.

However, those cases could be made essentially moot by an agreement reached Tuesday. Obama replaced two NLRB appointees opposed by Senate Republicans, clearing the way for a confirmation vote next week.

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