President Obama’s three appointments to the National Labor Relations Board last year were ruled unconstitutional by an appeals court, but the appointees are still in place as the dispute moves to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Obama’s recess appointments are unprecedented power grabs, which if left to stand will turn the constitutional separation of powers on its head,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, which has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case.

“Unfortunately, these recess appointments are one of many examples of this president acting outside of his constitutional authority. We hope the Supreme Court reminds President Obama that he is not above the law,” said Fitton, whose organization describes itself as a watchdog on the federal government.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the January 2012 appointments were unconstitutional, because the U.S. Senate was not in recess at the time.

Judicial Watch joined with the Allied Educational Foundation in the brief, which charges the president’s “alleged recess appointments to the NLRB are unconstitutional for the primary reason that the Senate was in session at the time of the purported appointments.”

“The president’s declaration that these sessions were invalid disregards the Senate’s authority to determine and administer its own procedures, including when it will recess and how it will conduct its business,” the Judicial Watch/AEF brief argues.

“The Senate alone can determine when it will hold session in conformity with its obligations and delegated powers by the Constitution.”
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