Federal Update - 2.1.2013

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A federal appeals court on Friday, January 25, 2013 ruled that President Obama exceeded his constitutional authority with three appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) while the Senate was on break last year. This ruling casts doubt on hundreds of decisions the NLRB has made in the past year, ranging from enforcement of collective bargaining agreements to rulings on the rights of workers to use social media.

The ruling also raises questions about the recess appointment of former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and about the actions taken by the agency during his tenure, including major new rules governing the mortgage industry. Obama named Cordray at the same time as the NLRB nominees, and his appointment is the subject of a separate lawsuit in D.C. federal court.

Options for the Obama administration include appealing to the full D.C. Circuit Court or to the U.S. Supreme Court. APSCU will monitor the Administration’s next move and will report back with the latest information.