Republican members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee today issued the following statements after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled President Obama's appointments to the National Labor Relations Board during a pro-forma session of the United States Senate were unconstitutional.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Ranking Member of the committee, said: "The court has found that the president violated the Constitution when he made these appointments. These individuals should resign from the board immediately, because no decision in which they participate can be valid. This judgment is proof that the administration defied the Constitution's separation of powers and its concept of checks and balances, which are the guard against an imperial presidency."
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, said: "This court ruling is a great victory for the U.S. Constitution. This decision confirms my belief that the president disregarded the Constitution when making his so-called recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. I hope this sends a clear message to the president that he cannot simply bypass Congress in the nomination process."
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) said: "Each branch of government has a defined role, limited and regulated by the checks and balances in the Constitution. If one branch exceeds that authority, it's the responsibility of the others to react appropriately and ensure we have an accountable and transparent government. As the ruling today confirmed, the recent appointees to the National Labor Relations Board exceeded the president's authority and I commend the court for addressing this issue as quickly as it did."
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said: "Today the D.C. Circuit court rejected the Obama Administration's executive over reach by finding unconstitutional the President's recess appointments of officers to federal agencies. This ruling will help in the fight to restore that very system of checks and balances to our government. No president should seek to hijack an independent executive branch agency with unconfirmed political appointees."
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said: "Today's ruling reaffirms that the Constitution is above political party or agenda, despite what the Obama Administration seems to think. This wasn't an activist decision or legislating from the bench. This was a Court holding what the Constitution says -- that a President may make a recess appointment only if the vacancy he would fill and the appointment occur during the same intersession recess. With this ruling, the DC Circuit has soundly rejected the Obama Administration's flimsy interpretation of the law, and will go a long way toward restoring the constitutional separation of powers."
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said: "I am pleased the court has found that the Constitution is not something to be swept aside in favor of an agenda. We have confirmation hearings for a reason. Let's put nominees through the proper vetting instead of slipping them past the American people."
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said: "The court's ruling today upholds the constitution and demonstrates that no president is above the law. All of the decisions the National Labor Relations Board has made in the past year should be nullified."
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said: "I am extremely pleased that a federal appeals court today confirmed what we all knew last year -- the President's attempt to stack the deck at the National Labor Relations Board was unconstitutional. The NLRB was established to be an unbiased arbiter, but the President has turned it into a pro-union, anti-right-to-work organization. As a result, the Board's activity has, at times, destroyed jobs and hurt hardworking American families, which we saw in South Carolina over the last two years, and cannot be allowed to continue down that path."