The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday concurred with two other appeals courts in ruling that President Obama's "recess" appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in January 2012 were unconstitutional because the Senate wasn't actually in recess, just on break between ongoing sessions.

The vote by the three-member panel representing the full court was 2-1.

The ruling is almost moot for a couple of reasons. First, the D.C. Circuit Court's initial ruling on the issue is now before the Supreme Court (when it reconvenes in October), which will decide the issues of when the Senate is actually in recess and when the president can make recess appointments. Second, a political compromise was reached in the Senate this week to confirm a fully legal NLRB, which will reissue any board rulings that may be threatened by an unfavorable Supreme Court decision on the recess appointments.