Supreme Court Limits President's Appointment Powers Featured

  21 March 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in National Labor Relations Board v. SW General Inc., limiting a president's authority to staff certain top government posts.

The case involved an appointment by Former President Obama to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).The Supreme Court decided 6-2 to uphold a lower court's ruling that former President Obama exceeded his legal authority with his temporary appointment of an NLRB general counsel in 2011. In an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court said that under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, a person cannot serve as the acting head of a federal agency once the president nominates him or her to permanently serve in the role if it is a position that requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate. SW General Inc, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based private ambulance company challenged the appointment as it sought to invalidate an NLRB ruling, which held that the company violated federal labor law by discontinuing bonus payments for longtime employees. Read more here.