In a highly controversial move on Jan. 4, 2012, President Obama named three members to the National Labor Relations Board as well as the director of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The President acted during an intrasession Congressional recess that was punctuated by twice weekly "pro forma" sessions of the Senate. Relying on a Department of Justice opinion, the president construed those sessions as insufficient to interrupt the holiday recess. The president's actions allow the NLRB to continue to function and permit the CFPB to begin its regulation of non-bank entities. Given that those agencies have been the subject of much recent controversy, the appointments have generated a barrage of criticism and have already been challenged in court. ..

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