The White House on Friday expressed strong disagreement with a court ruling that the president's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board violated the Constitution.
"The decision is novel and unprecedented," White House press secretary Jay Carney said at Friday's briefing. "It contradicts 150 years of practice by Democratic and Republican administrations."
He added: "We respectfully but strongly disagree with this decision."
Carney also noted that the White House believes the ruling, issued by a panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, "does not apply to Richard Cordray," for whom the president used a recess appointment to install as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "It’s one court, one case, one company," Carney said of the ruling's application.
Carney would not comment on a potential appeal or the next steps being examined by the administration, and referred reporters to the Justice Department for further details.
The panel ruled on Friday that three recess appointments to the NLRB made in January 2012 were unconstitutional because the Senate technically wasn't in recess. Cordray's nomination, which is unrelated to the NLRB, was made during the same time frame.
Republicans cheered the ruling on Friday and called for the NLRB to cease action immediately and have its work retroactively invalidated. They also offered strong criticism of President Barack Obama.
“The president, who taught constitutional law, should’ve known better,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said in a statement. “As the Oversight Committee examined in a hearing a year ago, President Obama’s appointments looked like an obvious election-year pander to big labor bosses. Today, we know that it is American workers who are going to pay the price for the administration’s arrogant miscalculation.”
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in a statement called the ruling a "victory for accountability in government."
He added: "The Obama administration has consistently used the NLRB to impose regulations that hurt our economy by fostering uncertainty in the workplace, and telling businesses where they can and cannot create jobs. Instead of operating under a shroud of controversy, the NLRB should meet the highest standards of transparency, starting with having its members approved by the people’s representatives."