President's recess appointment power at high court

Associated Press
 In this Dec. 19, 2013 file photo, a view of the Supreme Court can be seen from the view from near the top of the Capitol Dome on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a clash between President Obama and Senate Republicans over the power granted the president in the Constitution to make temporary appointments to fill high-level positions. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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In this Dec. 19, 2013 file photo, a view of the Supreme Court can be seen from the view from near the top of the Capitol Dome on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a clash between President Obama and Senate Republicans over the power granted the president in the Constitution to make temporary appointments to fill high-level positions. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has called into question President Barack Obama's use of a provision of the Constitution to make temporary appointments to high-level positions.

The court is writing on a blank slate as it considers for the first time the Constitution's recess appointments clause. That clause allows the president to fill vacancies temporarily, but only when the Senate is in recess.

The justices heard more than 90 minutes of arguments Monday in a dispute over Obama's appointments to the National Labor Relations Board in January 2012.

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. warned the court that it would essentially write that power out of the Constitution if it found that those appointments were illegal.

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