For the third time, a court has ruled President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board were unconstitutional. The ruling points to a growing consensus among the courts that Obama has overreached in his efforts to bypass the Senate’s advise and consent rule.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that Obama’s three January 2012 recess appointments to the NLRB — Richard Griffin, Sharon Block and Terence Flynn — were unconstitutional.

The ruling said the president only has the right to make such appointments when the Senate has formally adjourned at the end of its session, not in the brief breaks during its session.

This was in line with the reasoning in two earlier appeals court rulings, though the second ruling involved a different recess appointee, Craig Becker.

The Supreme Court is already scheduled to hear a case on the constitutionality of the appointments later this year.

The ruling comes just after a major showdown in the Senate that revolved around whether Block and Griffin should be allowed to serve on the board after Obama renominated them.

Hat tip: The Volokh Conspiracy.