President Obama’s Recess Appointments to the NLRB Ruled Unconstitutional

This morning, the the D.C. Circuit Court of .Appeals ruled that the three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) made by President Obama a year ago are unconstitutional. 

The NLRB’s activist and aggressive actions in recent years have raised significant concerns, including challenges to the constitutionality of the Board’s composition. Today’s ruling gives strong confirmation to those concerns and is a significant rebuke of what has become an increasingly overreaching NLRB.  The appointments in question were made as recess appointments because the Senate was unwilling to confirm them because they are considered by many Senators to be radical in their thinking on the role of the Board and their intent to ignore its statutory authority.

If this ruling stands, Chairman Mark Pearce will be the only properly seated member of the NLRB until August when his term expires. This ruling speaks volumes about the way the Board has been constituted and throws a significant roadblock in its rule-making ability.

For manufacturers that have been forced to deal with increased burdensome regulations, this is an important moment—perhaps a sign that we may see an NLRB in the future that will exist to improve employer–employee relations in this country.