The administration that has “no” scandals just got hit with another one and it is a doozy.
The Supreme Court ruled, in a 6-2 decision, then-President Barack H. Obama illegally allowed Lafe Solomon to serve at the “acting” general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board.
In 2010, Ronald Meisburg resigned as general counsel for the NLRB.
Obama then nominated Lafe Solomon for the appointment.
However, Obama also appointed him to hold the position temporarily until his confirmation came through.
The appointment stalled in the Senate for more than two years and was eventually withdrawn.
However, the case was made Solomon being allowed to continue serving temporarily was a constitutional violation.
As General Counsel, Solomon was supposed to have stepped down from any position held or give up stock in any company that could create a conflict of interest.
The company that filed the lawsuit, SW General, presented the argument Solomon should have never been able to hold the position since he was actually the presidential appointee.
The Supreme Court agreed.
The two dissenting votes, Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg, cited the fact that more than 100 people have served in “acting” roles while awaiting confirmation.
In addition, when Solomon stepped in on behalf of a company where he had an investment stake, he violated the agencies ethics laws.
The ruling is a significant hit against the legacy of Barack Obama, but it will also impact other administrations in the future.
This ruling means sitting presidents will now have less discretion when appointing someone to a temporary role while an appointment is being confirmed.
If this ruling is used as precedent moving forward, no appointee will be able to hold a position until they are actually confirmed by the Senate.