Thursday, July 18, 2013

Obama's NLRB - Recess Appointments Take Another Hit but Deal Made on New Appointees

President Obama finally got some good news regarding his National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) this week. Republicans agreed to confirm a slate of executive branch nominees, including NLRB nominees Nancy Shiffer and Kent Hirozawa (replacing former nominees Sharon Block and Richard Griffin).

While that's great news for the future of the NLRB, its past took another hit yesterday. The Fourth Circuit became the third federal appellate court to rule that Obama's prior recess appointments were unconstitutional (opinion here). If the recess appointments were in fact unconstitutional, it calls into question the legitimacy of over 1,000 NLRB rulings.

Now, you may be wondering . . . when the new nominees are confirmed, we undoubtedly have a legitimate NLRB - so is the recess appointments case at the Supreme Court (Noel Canning) moot? John Elwood has the answer at SCOTUSblog, concluding it will not "because the NLRB lost jurisdiction over the Noel Canning matter when it was appealed to the D.C. Circuit."

That's good news for people like me who find the constitutional question interesting.

Image: NLRB seal used in commentary on NLRB. Not official use.