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Appeals court strikes down Obama recess appointments

11:39 AM, Jan 25, 2013   |    comments
President Obama delivers a statement late Tuesday at the White House on the "fiscal cliff" deal.(Photo: Chris Kleponis, AFP/Getty Images)
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A federal appeals court said Friday that President Obama over-stepped his authority with a series of recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.

The case may wind up in the Supreme Court, and determine how far the president can go in appointing people whose nominations would be filibustered in the Senate.

The result could affect the standing of other Obama appointees, such as the head of the president's new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray.

In legal briefs, Obama said his recess appointments were legal because the Senate was on vacation at time.

But Republican senators who joined in a lawsuit said the chamber stayed in a "pro forma" legal session during the time in question, denying Obama the right to make recess appointments -- and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit agreed with them.

David Jackson, USA TODAY

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