01.06.2012 0

NLRB ‘recess’ appointments an egregious power grab

By Robert Romano — While Barack Obama’s “recess” appointment on Jan. 4 of Richard Cordray to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when Congress was not even in recess has garnered most of the media’s attention, there were three other picks for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) made the same day that are equally egregious.

Sharon Block, Terence Flynn, and Richard Griffin were only submitted to the Senate on Dec. 15.  “There was not even time to hold a hearing in the Senate, let alone vote on them, before the end of the year, and yet Obama claimed these extraconstitutional “recess” appointments were based on some sort of extraordinary delay,” Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson said.

In Dec. 2011, ALG released a background report on the two Democrat nominees, Block and Griffin.

These rogue appointments would bring the NLRB’s total membership to five, without which the Board would be unable to act with a quorum.  Because of this feature of the case, that makes any rulemakings by the NLRB in 2012 and 2013 particularly ripe for challenge in federal court.

Industry groups affected by NLRB regulations are expected to sue in federal court to overturn the appointments and any new regulations the Board issues.

In the meantime, Wilson has urged the House to pass HR 2978 stripping the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) of its quasi-judicial powers.

“If the House wishes to prevent the NLRB from issuing rulings when it has been unconstitutionally filled with phony recess appointments, it needs to act immediately.  Legislation by Rep. Austin Scott would strip the Board of all its judicial and rulemaking authority, making federal courts the sole arbiter of alleged infractions of labor law,” Wilson explained.

“For 75 years, the NLRB hasworked to facilitate the organization of labor unions at the expense of private employers, with the overreaching powers to act as prosecutor, judge, and jury against those companies at the behest of union bosses,” Wilson added.

In an exclusive interview with ALG, Rep. Scott described the bill and said the labor disputes were better handled in the courts.  “It takes away the judicial authority of the National Labor Relations Board, [and] puts the decisions in the courts,” he said, adding, “Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for this agency.  The unions and corporate America can fight it out in the courts without doing it on the taxpayer’s dime.”

The bill has already attracted 45 cosponsors.

A poll conducted by the polling company™, inc./WomanTrend on behalf of ALG found that 66 percent of respondents thought the agency had too much power “to officiate legal proceedings over private U.S. companies in its own court system”.

“While federal courts sort out the unconstitutionality of Obama’s lawless actions to fill the NLRB with union cronies, the House can act immediately to pass legislation that will defang the Board from issuing any more rulings on behalf of big labor,” Wilson concluded.

Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government.

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