Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas


January 25, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22) today issued the following statement in reaction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruling that President Obama's 2012 recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were unconstitutional:

President Obama made these unilateral appointments, claiming that the U.S. Senate was not actually in session.  Under our Constitution, the President is allowed to make appointments when the Senate is in recess.  However, the Senate was officially in session when these appointments were made.

"I applaud the court’s unanimous ruling that President Obama violated the Constitution when he bypassed the U.S. Senate in his attempt to make recess appointments for senior agency officials.  This was an egregious display of executive overreach, disregarding our Constitution and its system of checks and balances. These illegal appointments demonstrate the President's selective logic and willingness to foment legislative crisis in order to pursue political benefit. The rulings of the NRLB since these appointments should be considered null and void.

“The President and the leaders of Congress have a duty to obey and uphold the Constitution. This ruling corrects the President's unconstitutional action and live up to John Adam's dictum that we must have a ‘government of laws and not of men.’”

The three-judge panel ruled that the appointments of Sharon Block, Terence Flynn and Richard Griffin to the National Labor Relations Board on January 4th, 2012 were a direct violation of the recess appointment provision in the U.S. Constitution. The court ruled that the President could only fill vacancies with the recess appointment procedure if the openings arise when the Senate is in an official recess. 

Last year, Rep. Olson signed onto a letter to the President requesting that the recess appointments be rescinded. He is a cosponsor of H.Res.509, a resolution disapproving these unconstitutional appointments.


Media Contact: Melissa Kelly