The U.S. Supreme Court today invalidated President Obama’s recess appointments to the likes of the National Labor Relations Board because the Senate was not technically in recess.

The court didn’t take away recess appointment power. But it said the Senate decides when it is in recess. And it signed off on a gimmick by which the Senate can be gaveled in and out of a “pro forma” session every three days but conducts no business.


Now that many presidential appointments no longer require 60 percent votes, Obama has not had to fall back on recess appointments as often. A change of control to Republican majority would amount to Senate veto power on executive appointments.