Justices to rule on Obama recess appointments

Washington (CNN) — President Obama’s recess appointments to a federal agency– made without Senate confirmation– will be reviewed by the Supreme Court, the court announced Monday. It will mark a major constitutional test of executive power.

At issue is whether three people named to the National Labor Relations Board lack authority because the presidential appointments were made while the Senate was technically in a “pro forma” session during the 2011-12 winter holiday break.

The case sets up a high-stakes Supreme Court fight between the other two branches of government. Oral arguments will be held in public session later this year or early next.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the past have used the “virtual Congress” tactic to block unilateral appointments by the president when the Senate is away.