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National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning was a case with important implications for the scope of the President’s constitutional power to make temporary appointments to Executive and Judicial Branch offices pursuant to the Recess Appointments Clause.  On January 4, 2012, President Obama recess appointed three individuals to fill vacant seats on the National Labor Relations Board, an independent federal body responsible for adjudicating charges that employers or unions engaged in unfair labor practices.  On February 8, 2012, three members of the Board, including two of President Obama’s recess appointees, affirmed an administrative law judge’s earlier conclusions that Noel Canning Corporation, a canning and bottling facility, had committed an unfair labor practice. 

In National Labor Relations Board v. SW General, Inc., the Supreme Court considered the interpretation of a provision of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA), the federal law that governs the President’s designation of acting officers to temporarily fill vacancies that can only be permanently filled through Senate confirmation. 

On Jan. 23rd, 2012, the Supreme Court unanimously struck down a California law prohibiting the slaughter of non-ambulatory livestock, upholding a federal pre-emption challenge from the National Meat Association. The decision struck a blow against the California’s efforts to ensure safe and humane treatment of animals intended for slaughter and to states’ ability to protect public health through regulation of the food supply. CAC previously filed a brief arguing that federal law governing livestock bound for slaughter should not prevent California from choosing to excluding some livestock altogether.

In North Carolina State Conference v. McCrory, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is considering whether a North Carolina law known as HB 589 violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA).

Faced with the prospect of invalidating one of our nation’s most important and iconic civil rights laws – renewed in 2006 with overwhelming support across the political spectrum – the Supreme Court on June 22, 2009, backed one step away from a very steep cliff. You can read our analysis of the Supreme Court's opinion on Text & History.