The first legal challenge to President Obama's controversial recess appointments flopped today, when a federal judge tossed it out on procedural grounds.
A business group, the National Association of Manufacturers, tried to slip the challenge into an existing lawsuit contesting decisions by the National Labor Relations Board.
It was an apt place to challenge the move, the group said, because the the president made three recess appointments to the NLRB during a Senate break.
The White House said the appointments were within a president's executive power. But many Republicans claimed they was unconstitutional, because the Senate was called briefly into session each day during the recess.
On Friday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson said the legal challenge came too late in a place where it didn't belong. The group "attempted to shoehorn a challenge" in to a pending case about an entirely different issue involving the validity of a recent NLRB rule.
"The court declines this invitation to take up a political dispute that is not before it," she wrote in a brief decision.
This won't be the last word, however. Other groups have said they will go to court to challenge the most recent appointments.