President Obama has officially announced his nominees for the open spots on the National Labor Relations Board. Could a functioning NLRB be far behind?
Earlier this week, Obama announced his intent to nominate Harry I. Johnson, III and Philip A. Miscimarra, both Republicans, to positions with the NLRB. Obama also re-nominated Mark Gaston Pearce, who has served as head of the board since August 2011 and been a member since 2010.
Next, the new nominations go before the Senate — though it’s unclear how they’ll be received.
What happens next for the NLRB?
Of course, this all comes at a time when there’s some controversy regarding the NLRB’s actions.
This week’s nominations come on the heels of the president re-nominating Sharon Block and Richard Griffin, both Democrats, to the board after the DC Circuit Court of Appeals held that Obama’s three recess appointments to the NLRB in early 2012 were constitutionally invalid in Noel Canning v. NLRB.
That court’s ruling jeopardizes the enforceability of nearly 1,000 mostly pro-union NLRB decisions issued by the Board since Jan. 3, 2012. On March 12, the National Labor Relations Board decided to ask the Supreme Court to review the Noel Canning decision.
Because the case involves the separation of powers, there is a good chance the Supreme Court will consider its validity during Obama’s second term.
The enforceability of the decisions issued after Jan. 3, 2012 remains uncertain.
And the House of Representatives is voting this week on the “Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act,” a bill that would suspend NLRB activity until all the complications are smoothed out.
So it’s anyone’s guess as to what might happen in the House of Representatives, the Senate or the Supreme Court (if Canning v. NLRB gets that far).
We’ll keep you posted.