AP News

Court hears challenge to Obama recess appointments

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court is considering whether President Barack Obama violated the Constitution earlier this year when he bypassed the Senate to fill vacancies in his administration.

Attorneys for Republicans and business groups tell a three-judge panel in Washington that Obama abused his power last January when he appointed three members to the National Labor Relations Board.

Obama made the appointments while the Senate was in a 20-day recess. But Republicans say the Senate technically stayed in session because it was gaveled in and out every few days for so-called "pro forma" sessions. The Obama administration argues that those sessions — some lasting less than a minute — were a sham.

The case is an important test of presidential power.

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