The Supreme Court today agreed to take up the issue of whether appointments made by President Obama on Jan. 4, 2012, to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were legally done under the Constitution's recess-appointment clause.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the appointments were unconstitutional because they were made a day after the Senate had technically undertaken a new session and, further, because only vacancies that occur during a recess qualify under the Constitution's recess provision.

That decision was appealed directly to SCOTUS by the White House.

The Supreme Court's ruling, however, probably won't be issued before June 2014, as the current session is concluding this week and the next session won't commence until October.

Regarding recess appointments, President Obama is somewhat of a rookie with 32 such appointments in his first term. In contrast, President George W. Bush notched 171 recess apointments and President Bill Clinton 139 in two full terms, at least tripling or quadrupling Obama's pace.