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Supreme Court rebukes Obama on recess appointments.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that President Obama exceeded his constitutional authority in making high-level government appointments in 2012 when he declared he Senate to be in recess and unable to act on the nominations

What does the Supreme Court’s NLRB ruling mean for hundreds of labor cases?

Talk about timing. If you were with us at our lunch and learn on Wednesday, you will recall we discussed this case.

Hundreds of National Labor Relations Board decisions were thrown into legal limbo Thursday by a Supreme Court ruling that President Obama overstepped his authority by naming three members of the panel while the Senate was on a break.

Obama made appointments to the NLRB at a time when the Senate was holding sessions as a formality every few days to try to prevent the president’s ability to exercise the power.

The NLRB adjudicates employment disputes and oversees union organizing elections, making it a frequent place for political football to occur.

Most of the NLRB decisions thrown into question by Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling are noncontroversial, board officials said. But 100 are before appeals courts because of the legal questions surrounding Obama’s recess appointees.

History reveals not much may really change. In 2010, the Supreme Court threw out decisions made when the labor board attempted to operate with only two of its seats filled. That decision left about 600 cases decided during the 27 months when the board had only two members into limbo. But, in the end, the vast majority of those cases were never brought back to the board, an NLRB official said.

The latest case could result in a similar outcome. “From a financial standpoint, companies are going to have to make a determination about whether they want to pursue these cases, with the likelihood of different decisions being as slim as they are,” said Joe Trauger, vice president for human resource policy for the National Association of Manufacturers.

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