Obama Defies Congress with NLRB Recess Appointments
In a shocking political powerplay, Present Obama made three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board: Sharon Block, Terence Flynn, and Richard Griffin. Block and Flynn are Democrats, while Griffin is a Republican.
While Obama's appointments ensure the NLRB will not be powerless for the next 12 months, questions have already begun to swirl as to whether the President's actions are constitutional. Specifically, Article One, section Five of the Constitution states:
Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days...
As The Washington Examiner has pointed out, this clause "presents a problem for President Obama, who claims to have just made a recess appointment when the Senate is not actually in recess. The Constitution says the Senate cannot recess for more than three days without the House's permission. The House has not granted permission, and as a result both houses have been holding pro forma sessions out of constitutional necessity."
Regardless of whether the President's actions are ultimately constitutional, they ensure that the Board will remain both active and Labor-friendly throughout 2012.
Bottom Line for Employers
Today's NLRB appointments look to be cut from the same partisan cloth as Obama's previous appointments. Look for the Labor-friendly approach of the 2011 Board to continue through the end of the year.