The editorial I cited extensively references a case that went before SCOTUS last year, and resulted in the appointment of the general counsel to the NLRB being invalidated. The Vacancies Reform Act is specifically cited in that ruling.
Per Justice Thomas (who must have really been eating his wheaties back then)…
even if the statute [i.e. the Vacancies Reform Act] had allowed the appointment, the Constitution’s Appointments Clause would not have. The officer in question was a principal officer, he concluded. And the public interest protected by the Appointments Clause was a critical one: The Constitution’s drafters, Justice Thomas argued, “recognized the serious risk for abuse and corruption posed by permitting one person to fill every office in the government.” Which is why, he pointed out, the framers provided for advice and consent of the Senate.
Edit: corrected cut/paste issues