This afternoon, National Labor Relations Board Chairman, Mark Pearce, issued a press statement in response to three of his Board Members’ appointments being invalidated by the Appeals Court. In his statement, Chairman Pearce tries to make the assertion that all is well with the Board and they will continue to go about their business, because the Court is wrong and even if they’re right it only applies to one case. Nothing could be farther from the truth and he ought to know that.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled today that President Obama’s recess appointments of Sharon Block, Richard Griffin and Terry Flynn were invalid at their inception – as far as court opinions go that’s pretty clear and unambiguous language. If the appointments were never valid then the Board has been operating without a quorum, which would be in violation of Supreme Court decisions requiring at least three Board members in order to issue regulations or case decisions.
If the Board is then violating the precedent set by the Supreme Court, how is it that today’s ruling would only apply to the case in which the ruling was made?
The facts suggest Chairman Pearce may be keeping his eye on whatever prize it is he’s been keeping an eye on, but the Courts showed they are keeping an eye on whether the Board is acting within its power and authority. Soon, the DC Circuit will issue a ruling on a case the NAM filed against the NLRB on a regulation that was clearly asserting more authority than the Board was intended to have.
The last year of actions by the Board has just been thrown into limbo. It will be up to the Supreme Court to decide if the Appeals Court was right, but to suggest it only applies to one case is misleading at best. Acting as if the ruling changes nothing is, well, you know.