Thumbing nose at Senate, courts
Hundreds of rulings handed down by the National Labor Relations Board since January 2012 are, in effect, null and void. That is because three of the five NLRB board members were appointed illegally by President Barack Obama.
Obama’s reaction to the federal court ruling on the matter, in January, was to wait more than four months, then attempt to keep two of the three illegally appointed members on the board. The third, Terrence Flynn, left the board last year after he was accused of ethics violations.
On Wednesday, a Senate committee approved five NLRB board nominations from Obama. Included are Sharon Block and Richard Griffin, two of the illegal appointees from last year.
Obama may believe that because Democrats hold a majority in the Senate, his nominations will be confirmed without trouble.
But thoughtful Democrats should join Senate Republicans in blocking the nominations of Block and Griffin.
They were placed on the board last year through a “recess appointment” by Obama, rather than through the normal Senate confirmation process. Obama used that strategy, even though the Senate was in recess for just a few days, in the knowledge it probably would be invalidated by a court.
His action now in nominating Block and Griffin amounts to thumbing his nose at the Senate and, in a way, the federal courts.
Neither Democrats nor Republicans in the Senate should tolerate that. They should refuse to confirm Griffin and Block.