The Supreme Court unanimously struck down as unconstitutional the Obama administration’s “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, which were conducted while the Senate was formally in session.

The “decision marks the 12th time the Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the Obama administration on the issue of executive power,” Heritage Foundation legal expert Elizabeth Slattery explains.

The Constitution allows the President to make appointments during a Senate recess. President Obama’s appointments, which bypassed Senate approval, were made during a period when the Senate convened pro-forma sessions every three days. The Supreme Court held that recess appointments can only be made during breaks of “sufficient length.”

Read more about the Recess Appointments Clause in the Heritage Guide to the Constitution.

Do you think President Obama has been abusing his executive powers? 

Comments (66)

Stanford Redisch - June 27, 2014

Democrats got Kennedy elected with in the law?

glynnda - June 27, 2014

of course, and it’s too bad that he has only been challenged on 12 of his more than 2000 exec orders since entering the White House……

Gil Payne - June 27, 2014

The Supreme Court needs to continue to monitor Obama’s executive orders specially when it comes to the immigration issue. I think this is by far the most critical issue facing our country. SCOTUS needs to send a message to Obama that he is in violation of our Constitution by not enforcing our laws and the DOJ under Holder in failing to carry out his duties.

Lee Joyner - June 27, 2014

With the Speaker of the House considering trying to sue the president, does he/ his position, have “standing” to bring a suit directly to the Supreme Court? If not, he will never gat any of the other judges, that are controlled by the Attorney General, to accept his suit.

Thomas Goodnight - June 27, 2014

In my opinion, this is only one instance he has stuck his pointed nose where and when it had no business.

Joseph K. McKennan - June 27, 2014

I would say it’s about time! I’m not impressed. WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG!!!!

Carl Bowhay - June 27, 2014

I “think” when the SCOTUS votes unanimously, they are right on and making a legal decision. When not, it is usually because they are letting politics sway them.

Terry Gillham - June 27, 2014

Stop now and actually read Article One, Section One of the Constitution. It grants the power to make law exclusively to the Congress. Thus the president has ZERO authority for Executive Orders. If this fails to constitute abuse of power, indeed impeachable offenses, then nothing does.

Leila Rehfeld - June 27, 2014

As an attorney he knows the laws and he continues to break them. He has no respect for the the Constution, the Bill of Rights or the United States. He is a narsastic person with carisma who is leading the less informed (and the rest of us) down a path of destruction.
God save the USA.

Cindy Akre - June 27, 2014

Do I THING it? Well, I do THINK he abuses his executive power. It’s also too bad that it has taken 12 times and he still does not understand, showing me he will push all the way to the end. I’m not impressed by that attitude!

Dean Hansen - June 27, 2014

Isn’t (or at least shouldn’t) the reason for this Constitutional provision be to help assure continuity of government when the Senate is not in session, rather than to allow a president to usurp legislative authority? Senators presumably go to their home states when not in session and this clause was of course included when travel was much slower and difficult than today. Three cheers for SCOTUS on this decision!

Joan Jackson - June 27, 2014

President Obama has lost the trust of the people and will continue to damage the country through the remainder of his lame duck term. He must resign or be impeached.
1. President Obama can not be trusted
2. He does not perform his duty to enforce federal laws
3. He acts with poor judgment that harms people and the nation
4. He is unilaterally ending the war on terror while the enemy continues to attack the United States
5. He adds regulations that harm people, eliminate jobs, and weaken the security of the nation.
President Obama has over two years left in his term of office when he can create untold mischief and harm to the people of the United States. He must be removed from office to save the country. Please ask for his resignation and immediate action to impeach him.

Johanna - June 27, 2014

Obama has been over-stepping his authority many times. Shame on Congress and.the Senate for letting him! Now we will have to rely on the Supreme Court to tell him he is out of bounds.

Mr. & Mrs. Robert Matteo - June 27, 2014

We absolutely agree with the courts ruling!! About time!!

R. Mc Neil - June 27, 2014

Speaker of the house is premature in seeking to sue Obama! The Senate is still controlled by Harry Reid and
the Senate is the body that will have to approve attempts like this and/or impeachment.of this guy who, in my opinion, actually hates this country and hates our
military power & Christianity.Why doesn’t he fulfill his duty to secure our borders? That is just for starters!

Maynard N. Heth - June 27, 2014

Thanks! That our acting “dictator” continues to get caught in his own ‘mess’! What more will it take to get rid of this “enemy of the United States”?

Kathy Baratelli - June 27, 2014

President has not followed his inauguration promises to honor and enforce the US Constitution and to protect Americans at home and abroad.

Naomi - June 27, 2014

Obama has far exceeded his legal and constitutional authority repeatedly. Having gotten away with it has only served to embolden him. At this point in time impeachment is our only hope to stop the destruction of our great nation.

Paul Diehl - June 27, 2014

Yes, by all means. AND, Congress should initiate impeachment proceeding on Obama for abuse of power, for lying to “We the People”, for ignoring the Constitution and Congress, and the Veterans Administration, IRS and Benghazi Scandals and forgery of his COLB.

Dean G. Newman - June 27, 2014

It is great that the Supreme Court has unanimously ruled against the NLRB appointments and other matters. What is terrible is that Obama has thus far gotten away with thumbing his nose at Congress and the Constitution and is now announcing he will act if Republicans don’t cooperate. This at the same time that serious tyrant Harry Reid has only allowed a minimal amount of hundreds of proposed legislative acts to come to the floor of the Senate to be debated or voted on.

Sally Thomas - June 27, 2014

I am eighty years old, and I have never seen a president abuse his powers more. He has no regard to the constitute . I am very sadden over the problems facing our country now. People have no confidence in this administration.

Barb - June 28, 2014

SCOTUS needs to reassess Obamacare, it too is un-constitutional, funding bills start in the House of Reps not the Senate; then the Patriot Act and NDAA are also un-constitutional and indeed are acts of Sedition/treason or high crimes.

Barb - June 28, 2014

200 EOs too are acts of tyranny and an attempt to overtake the American way of government. He needs to go; he cannot be impeached or all else, if we were successful, would be legal, remove him from office everything he has done is illegal.

Gregory Cambi - June 28, 2014

Yes. He ignores the Constitution. I’m for impeachment.

Don Doering - June 28, 2014

Yes, he has been misusing his “powers”.

Further more, he pledged to uphold the constitution when taking office. He is not doing so.
In the private sector he would be terminated for not honoring his contract commitments for 13 times.


GEORGE A. WARREN - June 28, 2014

Second-therm President Obama must represent not only his own political party but also the entire American people. Quoting: Johanna’s comment “Obama has been over-stepping his authority many times. Shame on Congress and.the Senate for letting him! Now we will have to rely on the Supreme Court to tell him he is out of bounds.”

Paolo Masetti - June 28, 2014

Time for impeachment

James Bennett - June 28, 2014

Yes Pres. Obama is abusing the executive orders granted to him. But in my view the abuse of executive orders began with Pres. Teddy Roosevelt and has gotten noting but worse since that time because Congress – the legislative and co-equal branch – has been a dismal failure at protecting their Constitutional duty and entirely to focused on reelection. The behavior of many in congress is justification (prima fascia evidence) for term limits.

James Bennett - June 28, 2014

Yes Pres. Obama is abusing the executive orders granted to him. But in my view the abuse of executive orders began with Pres. Teddy Roosevelt and has gotten nothing but worse since that time because Congress – the legislative and co-equal branch – has been a dismal failure at protecting their Constitutional duty and entirely to focused on reelection. The behavior of many in congress is justification (prima fascia evidence) for term limits.

Herman - June 28, 2014

In Striking down President Obama’s Appointments, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) finally upheld the Constitution of the United States of America. When the President decides to act as if he was a Monarch instead of a duly elected representative of the People, then SCOTUS can only uphold the Constitution of the United States and strike down such illegal actions by the president of the united states. The President took an Oath to Uphold and Protect the Constitution of the United States. Is he an Elected President or is he acting like a Monarch?

Janice Starkey - June 28, 2014

Obama has acted like a dictator ever since he took office he is not a true American or Christianand his actions have shown it from day one.He doesn’t seem to understand what freedom means to Americans and he does not understand the three governing bodies of our country. There are many who follow him and vote for him that are just as ignorant. I don’t know how we can ever educate them and make them feel the way we do about our freedom.I wish every school day could begin with students singing “my country tis of thee”and other patriotic songs it might make a difference

Donna Elmore - June 28, 2014

Ditto to each and every comment. I agree with all of them!

Cynthia Powell - June 28, 2014

Yes, he has abused his powers over & over and broken the law as well as refusing to enforce the laws already on the books. He took an oath to defend and protect the constitution of the United States and he has broken that oath over and over. It is time to hold him accountable & remove him from office. He needs to be in prison along with the rest of the criminals. No one is above the law. .

Mark - June 28, 2014

Our President needs to stop being a “dictator”, pseudo- Christian and lead in a bi-partisan-consititutional manner in which he swore on the Bible he would do. Otherwise it is time for him to resign or be impeached. This ruling only scratches the surface of all the lying, deceiving and abuse occurring during his leadership. I just hope this beginning movement is not too little too late.

George F. Figdore - June 29, 2014

I think the Supreme Court did the right thing. Now we must undue all the work these illegal appointees did. Of course, this will cost us tax-payers more money which we can ill afford. I for one think that Obama and Holder should both be removed from office as soon as possible. The amount of Executive Orders looks like he/they are Dictators. Our adminIstration is CORRUPT. We must clean our house and sweep these Socialists out of DC.

Carol Denison - June 30, 2014

Absolutely – When will the insanity stop! He needs to be impeached before he ruins the country completely.

Sandra Fosselman - June 30, 2014

Does declaring Obama’s 12 unconstitutional executive orders (they dozens more) unconstitutional mean automatic reversal of actions taken? If not, the Supreme Court decisions are a futile exercise. Any other president with such a performance record would have been impeached by now. What do our leaders fear if they do what is legally appropriate as an effort to protect our freedom and security, and our rights to remove corrupt and dangerous leaders, especially the president?

Sandra Fosselman - June 30, 2014

Is it automatic that any unconstitutional executive orders must be rescinded? If not, then the Supreme Court’s decisions are exercises in futility. Any other president with this kind or performance record of 12 unconstitutional executive orders (they missed dozens more) would have been impeached by now. What do our leader fear if they take action to protect our freedom and security by removing corrupt leaders, especially the president? That they won’t get re-elected?????

Bree - July 4, 2014

Please correct spelling on “Do you THINK President Obama has been abusing his executive powers question.
DON’T POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Thanks for all you do.

Author Katie Nielsen - July 7, 2014

Thanks for the help! The post is updated.

-Katie Nielsen

Bree - July 4, 2014

Yes.You know he is already trying to discredit and looking to destroy that legal institute. I do not believe he will do it by the grace of God. In the name of Jesus I pray and believe this.

Bernie - July 5, 2014

Obama is just a part of the problem. He did not achieve the position he holds without powerful people helping. We, the American people, have allowed the government to usurp powers they are not delegated. His “executive orders” are only a small part of a large problem. Our votes are a very important answer to the “term limits” problem we all, or most of us, know will cure some of the problems.

William M Snedden Sr - July 8, 2014

When the supreme court ruled against the appointments made by Obama during a recess, WHY are those appointment NOT nullified???
Making a ruling that has no defined results, makes a paper tiger of the court. I thought it was created to be a balance of power?? It seems like a “HO HUM” and why bother. The founding fathers would roll over in their graves if they knew of this obvious transgression!

Donna Smith - July 14, 2014

I’m ready to see Obama impeached. But that would mean Joe Biden would become president. I doubt Biden would earn any more respect in the world than Obama. He’s entertaining…but we need a strong Constitutional leader.

Also I believe the House brings orders of impeachment, but the Senate makes the actual decision about whether the POTUS is relieved of duty. I know Obama is losing some support in his own party, but maybe we should wait to see who is in the Senate after elections?
If Obama continues in office, I’m worried that since no one seems able to oppose him (due to bribery or ???)
this country will be in such disarray financially, militarily, and with border insecurity, that no elected officeholder can put things back in order.

Ron Dwyer - March 19, 2015

If our elected officials had any gonads there should be hundreds of protests of his exec. actions. Why did it take so long to decide this man is out of control?he only has one objective and that is self serving, he wants this country on its knees people.

Ivan - September 24, 2015

You know that’s not correct.

Steve Giles - January 6, 2016

What the author failed to mention is that the majority of those unanimous rulings were when the Justice Dept were arguing on behalf of measures sent forward by GW during his presidency.

Jon H - February 8, 2016

Barack Obama, and no other American president, issued anywhere near 2000 executive orders. The President who’s issued the most, to date is FDR. 

FACT: As of today 02/08/2016
Barack Obama has issued the least of ALL modern day presidents Democrat & Republican since then. 

If you do not believe this you’re either illiterate, lazy, a liar and/or issue these lies to inflame those with similar “qualities”. 

If you’re ignorant, if you hate Obama whatever the reason – be at least not a lazy, ignorant windbag fabricating false “reasons” to support a factless opinion.

At LEAST be man or woman enough to state you disagree, dislike or  hate him for no reason or state an authentic reason instead of looking like a fool, too lazy & stupid to check TV propaganda aimed at dummies…

From Someone who’s actually produced TV news…..

As the Heritage Foundation is a Koch bros propaganda tool, this post likely won’t survive, but it’s accuracy will…

Don’t Worry About It - February 19, 2016

You should update this site to show more wrong doings of Obama.

Someone in Nm - April 27, 2016

Why has this country stood by and let one man dictate so much and virtually destroy our country from our whitehouse office? I can’t wrap my mind around how this one person has been able to do so much damage to our country yet we are worried about ISIS. Not a single outside source has deprived an american, on american soil, of their constitutional rights like Obama has done from the oval office. Look at our policy, we are not free. We are as subject as any other country the US has sought to “liberate” People need to wake up to the real threats to our country before it is too late and you wake up in jail because of your beliefs or ideas. Oh, wait, I think that is already happening. I guess we have not come that far since the 1400, where different ideas had you killed or imprisoned because they posed a threat to the ruling elite. Hmmm. What makes us believe we are free when you cant be Muslim, choose how to educate your children, decide whether or not to put vaccines in your body, defend your life and property, instill your family values in your children, have privacy, walk down the street in NY to get home, choose what and how much you want to eat in NY, receive pain treatment without the government knowing who what when where, practice your trade, own a business, sell produce in a farmers market, grow fruit trees in your yard, hunt or fish, speak out about injustice without being labeled a terrorist. Every aspect of your life is regulated, governed, and dictated to you and you probably don’t even know it. The bottom line is people need to get vocal and do not allow our constitution to be berried by unjust executive orders that virtually render our constitution useless. When Obama said he would get rid of our constitution he meant it, most people just did not realize how sneaky the attack would be. It is not out dated it was meant to protect people from evil dictatorship, which believe it or not you are now under. You are not free. But I guess it is all in how you view what freedom is. You have been fooled and if you want what you believe in then you will have to stand up for it like your four fathers did because the freedom they had, no longer exists but could if we all demand it. One nation under God, Who will protect and prevale, amen

John Webber - May 13, 2016

Yes, and our Congress should have impeached him long ago. He’s as corrupt as Hillary and Bill Clinton! He’s a disgrace to the office of the President, and the oath he took twice!

Geraldine Kilgore - May 16, 2016

He has abused every citizen of this country by overstepping his power. He seems obsessed with destroying everything for which America stands. Nothing is sacred to Obama. Why is he not in Jail?

Michael - May 16, 2016

Obama should be in jail for many things he has pulled and with nothing more then to try to destroy the united states where he was not born or raised. for the first 4 years of his life. again not an american at birth so again laws claim he is not the president of the United states.

Eve Robins - June 2, 2016

I am so happy that Obama will not be able to fool and trick the American people any longer. He has attempted to destroy our nation but for a higher supreme power he would have decimated many American lives who deserve a good life within our borders. I hate we ever trusted him – it was the worse I’ve ever seen and as an American I hope I never see anyone like him again!

Shawn - November 10, 2016

Yes…Obama has tried to grab more power with every executive order he’s signed. In fact…I believe history will not be kind to Obama’s policies domestically, economically or in the U.S. foreign affairs.
I believe President Obama has been disastrous in everything he’s touched…from out health care, economically in doubling our deficit, to making more enemies and alienating our allies.

Hilda Ward - November 14, 2016

I find it hard to believe that not only Obama but other presidents of the USA have abandoned honoring their oath of office. They ignore the part that states they will uphold the laws of this country, and protect our borders. I would think both Democrats and Republicans would deal with this issue. NOT. I am very worried that our presidents are acting more like dictators, and they surround themselves in other government offices, like the DOJ, IRS, and even the FBI, that will support them even when they go against their oath of office.

Rhondayes - January 20, 2017

I bet you all feel like fools now.

Itsgoingtobiteyoubig - January 29, 2017

So I know this 5 year old, he doesn’t have a clue about what the constitution is. At 5 years old, clearly doesn’t have a clue of how/why our country began. Then you have all these followers…… . Still laughing at the comments above and how righteous they are. Seriously, were they made because of the color of his skin? And you will give a pass to the orange one? You have got to ask yourself some very introspective questions. I know, I know, big words, big sentences, sometimes hard to comprehend. I’m just asking, are you going to hold the orange one to the same standard as you did the other guy?

Itsgoingtobiteyoubig - January 29, 2017

The Orange One lost in court today. That should be the headline shouted from every roof top. Can’t even make it past the 1st week. That’s a record he will own, first president in history to have a stay placed on his executive order in the first week. Loser.
I’m sure many more to come. Are we at the circus? Get out the popcorn and peanuts. It’s going to be a great show.
Sad for the country however. We will lose our standing in the world with other countries laughing at us. Good one redpublicans… not.

Timothy Nelson - February 3, 2017

You hypocrites don’t have a word to say about executive orders now. Yall all going to hell.

Nickypatt - February 4, 2017

Executive overreach, and power grab, eh???


Peggi - March 16, 2017

The worst thing is that the majority of the people living in America don’t know the Constitution. If they did, we would have had our fire arms fighting these tyrants taking our freedoms long ago. So many of our freedoms have already been taken from us through the ” creations” of new “laws ” made without our knowing or approval. Laws that serve to get rid of the laws our founding Fathers put in place to protect us from tyrants against freedom. Woe to the lamb who follow the sheep for the relentless wolf ….has much to eat.
Be wise. Know the Constitution so you can defend it…and defend it with your heart. Know the Constitution!

Peggi - March 17, 2017

The worst thing is that the majority of the people living in America don’t know the Constitution. If they did, we would have had our fire arms fighting these tyrants taking our freedoms long ago. So many of our freedoms have already been taken from us through the ” creations” of new “laws ” made by these politicians without our knowing ,or approval….Laws that serve to get rid of the laws our founding Fathers put in place to protect us! Woe to the lamb who follow the sheep for the relentless wolf ….has much to eat.
Be wise. Know the Constitution so you can defend it…and defend it with your heart. Know the Constitution! You can get a pocket size one for cheap or free… Google Amazon.

Al Swanson - April 25, 2017

Obama “hates the Constitution” … executive orders, circumventing the Constitution. Yet, Trump is bragging about how many executive orders he’s churning out. He’s bragging that he’s done the most – he wins, eh?

Where are all you folks now? Got nothing to say, do you? About the executive orders by the “Constitution hater,” right? Trump is proud to churn out more EOs than Obama – the very thing you were b&moaning about, right? What say you? Nothing?

[sound of crickets]

Yup. Hypocrites.

Bradlee S Welton - April 26, 2017

I guess it is clear now that Obama was a tenderfoot in abusing executive powers compared to tRump.

Pitsy - September 5, 2017

Yep. I concluded Obama simply thought he should do his thing against whatever he did not support politically, and acted to push every boundary so it could be tested, and behaved as thought he did not care if overturned, as long as he could push the few points that did not get challenged. He was a bad president.

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