Kline cheers Supreme Court’s NLRB decision

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
The Supreme Court ruled against Obama's appointments of three people to NLRB in 2012 while the Senate was on a three-day recess.

WASHINGTON — A Supreme Court decision striking down President Obama’s appointment of three members to the National Labor Relations Board during a Senate recess will help “rein in his abuse of power and restored some checks and balances to our system of government,” Rep. John Kline said Thursday.

The court ruled against Obama’s appointments of three people to NLRB in 2012 while the Senate was on a three-day recess, a procedural maneuver meant to bypass the confirmation process in the Senate. Justice Stephen Breyer said the three-day window wasn’t long enough to constitute a true recess and that breaks of 10 days or more were permissible for recess appointments.

Kline, a frequent critic of the NLRB under Obama, held a hearing of his Education and the Workforce Committee in February 2012 to examine Obama’s appointments to the board. At the time he called it “an unconstitutional scheme” used to “address a political problem.

He welcomed Thursday’s decision [PDF]. In a statement, Kline said, “For more than two years, workers, employers, and unions have lived under a cloud of uncertainty because of the president’s unconstitutional appointments to the board. The president’s unprecedented action was one of many intended to further his own partisan agenda by circumventing the Constitution and side-stepping Congress. Thankfully the Supreme Court has helped rein in his abuse of power and restored some checks and balances to our system of government.”

As the New York Times notes, the decision’s immediate impact on recess appointments is diminished by new Senate rules meant to ease nominees’ path through the Senate over the minority party’s objections. But the ruling calls into question NLRB decisions made during the tenure of the recess appointees.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com. Follow him on Twitter: @dhenry

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 06/26/2014 - 09:23 pm.


    Obama will renominate the three appointees and have them run through the Senate under the new “defilibustered rule”, have their appointments confirmed so they can get back to work and ratify their questioned decisions. It might be too much to expect to have this done before Kline’s idiotic hearings but there would be satisfaction enough if Obama would make the entire ridiculous, pointless and hypocritical lawsuit and Supreme Court decision moot by such a maneuver.

  2. Submitted by Wesley Volkenant on 06/27/2014 - 09:01 am.

    Was Already Resolved?

    I believe this got resolved last year. I’m attaching a 2013 link, but the full Senate confirmed NLRB members as part of the filibuster compromise, and I believe the recess appointees do not serve on the Board, although one was made the NLRB’s General Counsel. http://thehill.com/regulation/labor/316677-nlrb-full-of-senate-confirmed-members-for-first-time-in-decade-

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