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Supreme Court Rules Against Obama on Recess Appointments

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against the Obama administration when it comes to recess appointments.

In a unanimous opinion, all nine justices agreed President Obama does not have the power to decide when the Senate is in recess.

The justices said the president was wrong to fill administration posts when the Senate held what are called "pro-forma" sessions, which last only a few seconds every three days.

Writing for the court, Justice Stephen Breyer said the Senate is in session when it says it is. And three days, he said, is too short a recess for Obama to have filled posts.

Writing for the conservatives, Justice Antonin Scalia would have gone further, saying recess appointments dating back to the early 1800s were unconstitutional.

Looking forward, Breyer said a recess must be generally 10 days long before the president can fill a post.

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