Courts have held under the de facto officer doctrine that acts and laws signed by persons acting in the capacity of their title are valid even if the person's appointment or election to the office is legally deficient.
The court in Hamilton v. Roehrich, 628 F. Supp. 2d 1033 (D. Mn, 2009), articulated the rationale for this doctrine:
The de facto officer doctrine "`confers validity upon acts performed by a person acting under the color of official title even though it is later discovered that the legality of that person's appointment or election to office is deficient.'" Nguyen v. United States, 539 U.S. 69, 77, 123 S.Ct. 2130, 156 L.Ed.2d 64 (2003), quoting Ryder v. United States, 515 U.S. 177, 180, 115 S.Ct. 2031, 132 L.Ed.2d 136 (1995). "The de facto doctrine springs from the fear of the chaos that would result from multiple and repetitious suits challenging every action taken by every official whose claim to office could be open to question, and seeks to protect the public by insuring the orderly functioning of the government despite technical defects in title to office." Ryder v. United States, supra at 180, 115 S.Ct. 2031 [quotations and citations omitted]; see also, Hussey v. Smith, 99 U.S. 20, 24, 25 L.Ed. 314 (1878)("The acts of such officers are held to be valid because the public good requires it," and "[a] different rule would be a source of serious and lasting evils."); Equal Employment Opportunity Comm'n v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., 650 F.2d 14, 17 (2nd Cir.1981)("The de facto officer doctrine was developed to protect the public from the chaos and uncertainty that would ensue if actions taken by individuals apparently occupying government offices could later be invalidated by exposing defects in the officials' titles."). "The doctrine has generally been applied to individuals who are in possession of an office, are performing the duties of the office, and who maintain an appearance of right to the office." Equal Employment Opportunity Comm'n v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., supra at 17, citing Waite v. Santa Cruz, 184 U.S. 302, 323, 22 S.Ct. 327, 46 L.Ed. 552 (1902)
The Supreme Court in Ryder v. United States , 515 U.S. 177 (1995 stated:
" [In] Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976), [ ] plaintiffs challenged the appointment of the Federal Election Commission members on separation of powers grounds. The Court agreed with them and held that the appointment of four members of the Commission by Congress, rather than the President, violated the Appointments Clause. It nonetheless quite summarily held that the "past acts of the Commission are therefore accorded de facto validity." Id., at 142. We cited as authority for this determination Connor v. Williams, 404 U.S. 549, 550-551 (1972), in which we held that legislative acts performed by legislators held to have been elected in accordance with an unconstitutional apportionment were not therefore void."
In Fletcher v. Peck, 10 U.S. 87 (1810) although not a de facto doctrine case but the outcome was still the same. In Fletcher corrupt politicians in Georgia authorized the sale of vast acres of land to four land companies. The land companies then sold the acres to purchasers. After the sale, the corrupt politicians were voted out office and the new politicians voted a new law rescinding the sale thereby invalidating all titles to the purchasers. The issue before the court was whether or not a state statute can deprive bona fide purchasers of the acres they acquired from the land companies.
Chief Justice Marshall held that the new statute was invalidated and observed that each buyer had acquired "a title good at law, he is innocent, whatever may be the guilt of others, and equity will not subject him to the penalties attached to that guilt. All titles would be insecure, and the intercourse between man and man would be very seriously obstructed, if this principle be overturned." Id at 133-134
As such, all of Obama's appointments and acts that he signed into law including the Health Care Bill are valid.