The SCOTUS today ruled in a very literal way, but also in a remarkably tuneless way.
The root problem is that Congress (the Senate) didn’t want to confirm many of President Obama’s appointees, mainly out of pique (they are pissed he was elected). Republicans had a plan for the country: To Do Nothing. Especially if any action might be viewed as “handing a victory to Obama”. That included filibustering Presidential nominees. So the root problem is that they weren’t doing their job.
The President wanted his people in place. So he used short Senate adjournments to make recess appointments.
Congress got peeved and arranged for the President to be sued. SCOTUS ruled that the short adjournments (over the weekend, for example) were not valid for recess appointments.
One interesting thing: recess appointments have been made mid-session by Presidents for many years. There is some discussion in the thinking media (i.e. not conservative media) that perhaps the SCOTUS engaged in a bit of judicial activism in re-interpreting longstanding process.
So the way I see it is: Congressional Republicans, is not accomplishing their job, sort of left the President to do what he needed to do. He didn’t lie or obfuscate about it (like, for example, Bush/Cheney and the Iraq War), and there was no harm to the country (why haven’t Bush and Cheney been held accountable for thousands of American deaths?), but he was trying to get the business of the Executive Branch done. Republicans made it harder by engaging in fakery with respect to recesses. You can’t blame the guy for trying.
Congressional Republicans aren’t even trying.