Re-open for business: Obama recess-appoints three to the NLRB

Well, color me surprised (I think that’s purple).

Today, President Obama exercised his executive power to “recess” appoint — actually, to be technical about it, no one is on recess — three new members to the National Labor Relations Board, thus bringing the Board up to its full capacity of five members.


The recess appointees are Sharon Block (Dem.), Richard Griffin (Dem.), and Terence Flynn (Rep.). You can read more about them here in a White House release. And here is a release from the NLRB.

In this press release, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce denounced the NLRB appointments:

“The NLRB’s credibility has suffered greatly during this administration due to an aggressive agenda favoring the unions. The president could have chosen to work with the Senate and stakeholders to see if a package of nominees could be confirmed that would help restore the agency’s independence and credibility. Instead, today’s steps will simply further poison the well with regard to labor-management issues pending in front of the Board and on Capitol Hill.”

The Board had been operating in 2012 with just two members, after the term of Craig Becker, President Obama’s prior recess-appointee, expired. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, a two-member Board is powerless to exercise any authority. Thus, we have the recess appointments.

Correction: This post has been updated with a new quote attributed to the U.S. Chamber. The original post referenced a quote from this article, criticizing President Obama’s decision to recess-appoint Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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