President Barack Obama lost a big gamble when a court ruled that four recess appointments he issued last January were unconstitutional. Obama appointed three nominees to the National Labor Relations Board and Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in an effort to circumvent the Senate, which was on a three-day break.

Legal experts said the President probably never anticipated the appeals court ruling, which they said broadly undercuts his ability to make such appointments.

“The loss is way bigger than the battle he thought he was fighting,” said Denise M. Keyser, a labor lawyer with the Ballard Spahr law firm in New Jersey. “If this is upheld, this is such a huge loss for the President and for the way the country has functioned for so many years … I don’t think anybody, when he made the appointments, foresaw that the court would do this.”

Practice Area

Labor and Employment