A federal appeals court ruled Friday against a batch of President Barack Obama's recess appointments, ruling that they were unconstitutional and handing the GOP a legal victory in its opposition to Obama's labor and consumer protection regulators. "The filling up of a vacancy that happens during a recess must be done during the same recess in which the vacancy arose," a three-judge panel found. Their ruling came in response to a challenge brought by a soft drink bottling company that had recently lost a union dispute before the National Labor Relations Board. In its complaint, joined by Republicans, the company said the president's NLRB appointments weren't valid because he had made them during a pro forma session in which the Senate was gaveled to order and then adjourned for several days — a period the company and Republicans said was not an actual recess. The Obama administration maintained the sessions were a sham and didn't mean the Senate was actually in session. The issue could next be considered by the full slate of judges on the appeals court and by the Supreme Court.