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Once again, the Obama Administration is flouting the law by ignoring the ruling of the federal courts. With Democrats and even some Republicans frozen in fear of the Administration's bullying from the bully pulpit, the open lawlessness will continue.
President Obama’s spokesman denounced the invalidation of the so-called ‘recess’ appointments as a “novel and unprecedented ruling,” adding that the decision has “no impact on the ongoing operations of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
"Novel and unprecedented" actions have been a hallmark of the Obama years, so it's unclear how that's any reason to ignore the ruling. The reaction is reminiscent of and even more brazen than the administration's foot-dragging response when Judge Vinson ruled Obamacare unconstitutional. The NLRB Chairman issued a statement:
"The Board respectfully disagrees with today’s decision and believes that the President’s position in the matter will ultimately be upheld. It should be noted that this order applies to only one specific case, Noel Canning, and that similar questions have been raised in more than a dozen cases pending in other courts of appeals.
In the meantime, the Board has important work to do. The parties who come to us seek and expect careful consideration and resolution of their cases, and for that reason, we will continue to perform our statutory duties and issue decisions."
Redstate covered the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit's unanimous decision that the Senate, not the President, has the authority to declare itself in session:
On January 4, 2012, Barack Obama took it upon himself to declare the United States Senate in recess and decided to make ‘recess appointments’ to the National Labor Relations Board to replace SEIU and AFL-CIO attorney Craig Becker, as well as Teamster attorney Wilma Leibman, both of whose terms had expired.
The two cases are not much alike. The NLRB decision was over a dispute between the branches while NFIB v Sebelius suit was over government overreach generally.
After Judge Vinson ruled Obamacare unconstitutional, the administration dragged its feet. To get the Administration to move properly, Judge Vinson issued a stay of his ruling pending appeal. In doing so, he said
This declaratory judgment was expected to be treated as the “practical” and “functional equivalent of an injunction” with respect to the parties to the litigation. This expectation was based on the “longstanding presumption” that the defendants themselves identified and agreed to bebound by, which provides that a declaratory judgment against federal officials is a de facto injunction.
In ignoring these rulings, the administration presents a pattern of disresespect for the rule of law. Our system of laws is protected in part by judges, who best know the law, determining when government actions fit within constitutional boundaries. If a decision falls in a courtroom and is ignored, is the system really sound?