Supreme Court limits president's power on appointments

{}By a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that President Barack Obama's appointments to the National Labor Relations Board in 2012 without Senate confirmation were illegal.{}

This is the high court's first-ever case involving the Constitution's recess appointments clause. The President had argued the Senate was on an extended holiday break when he made the appointments. The Court disagreed, saying the Senate was not in a formal recess when the appointments were made.

The impact of the decision may be felt by the White House next year if Republicans capture control of the Senate after the November general election. The importance of the ruling lies in the Senate's ability to block the confirmation of judges and the leadership of independent agencies like the NLRB.

A recess appointment can last no longer than two years.