The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Monday in a case with potentially dramatic long-term implications for the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches.

The legal question is whether the president may temporarily appoint people to staff executive branch agencies when Congress is not conducting business but also not technically in recess — known as pro forma sessions. Noel Canning, a business based in Washington State, claims that actions taken against it by the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) are invalid because they relied on the decisions of recess appointees to the board who were put in place during pro forma sessions.

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