On Sunday, Jan. 27, speaking to Chris Wallace of FOX News, Republican Senator Bob Corker predicted it was possible Friday's court ruling jeopardizes a year’s worth of actions made by President Obama’s appointees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Corker fell short of outright gloating; however, he did point to Republican warnings to the Obama administration that the appointments were unconstitutional and could cause big problems for the administration down the road. With this ruling, it appears the Republicans may be proven right.
Corker said it was difficult to contain his excitement when he heard the ruling, and now he is "hopeful the Supreme Court will uphold it." He was specifically speaking of three appointments made by President Obama simultaneously with his appointment of Richard Cordray as the first director of NLRB.
However, because a federal appeals court ruled those Obama appointments to head the NLRB were unconstitutional, conservatives are speculating about the possibility Cordray's appointment will be struck down as well.
If the Supreme Court does uphold the decision, and if each of the more than 300 rulings made by the NLRB team during the last year are individually challenged, they could fall like dominoes. Corker was ready to say, "We told them so. " He added, "That’s what we said at the time; these people were going to be working in vain and the rulings that they come forth with were going to be challenged. That’s turned out to be the case."
A Democrat, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin defended the appointments, claiming the recess appointments would not have been necessary except for Republicans who were unwilling to provide a fair hearing for Obama's appointments. He explained, "In its frustration this administration said we were elected to govern… they wanted to put people in place to govern.”
The timing of the court ruling, striking down Obama's recess appointments as unconstitutional, came a day after the president re-nominated Cordray as CFPB director. Republicans would like to see the structure changed completely so that the leadership of these departments is bipartisan.
The White House has called the decision, "novel and unprecedented." While business groups are cheering the ruling, unions are aghast. All involved look to the Supreme Court for a final decision. Because Cordray's appointment was made on the same day and under identical circumstances, any Supreme Court ruling would ultimately be a judgement on the constitutionality of his appointment as well.