‘Lame Duck’ Senate May Return Forced-Unionism Zealot to NLRB
(source: October 2014 National Right to Work Committee Newsletter)
This past July, President Barack Obama made it clear that even a stern rebuke from a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court wouldn’t stop him from packing the powerful National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with radical proponents of compulsory unionism.
And now Big Labor U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) is unmistakably signaling that an equally stern rebuke from American voters this November won’t stop him and his caucus from rubber-stamping the President’s pro-union monopoly NLRB nominees.
Capitol Hill insiders are predicting that, right after next month’s elections, Mr. Reid will convene a special “lame duck” session of the Senate in order to confirm ex-Ted Kennedy aide Sharon Block to a five-year NLRB term.
Of course, a “lame duck” vote will allow union-label senators in Mr. Reid’s caucus who are facing tough 2014 re-election campaigns to do the bidding of the President and Big Labor bosses, without having to explain their actions until after Election Day.
Ms. Block’s nomination is controversial largely because of her unabashed support for bureaucratically “reinterpreting” federal labor law to expand union officials’ longstanding special privileges.
Not One High Court Justice Bought Obama Excuse For Phony ‘Recess’ Appointments
But Ms. Block’s nomination is also controversial because, not quite three years ago, she was one of three nominees illegally installed on the NLRB by the President as “recess” appointees when the Senate was not actually in recess.
Acting at Big Labor’s behest, in January 2012 Mr. Obama appointed Ms. Block, fellow forced-unionism zealot Richard Griffin, and attorney Terence Flynn to the NLRB before any Senate debates or votes had been held on their nominations.
The mislabeled “recess” appointments were promptly challenged in court.
And this June 27, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the President had violated the U.S. Constitution in making these appointments, invalidating hundreds of rulings in which one or more of the three illegal appointees had participated.
None of the justices, not even the President’s two appointees, bought the White House contention that the Senate was actually adjourned in early January 2012, even though the chamber was periodically meeting and holding votes.
But the strong condemnation of the White House by the High Court in Noel Canning v. NLRB apparently didn’t trouble the President at all. Less than two weeks after the decision, Mr. Obama renominated Ms. Block, a union-boss favorite, for an NLRB seat that is opening up on December 16.
Sharon Block Favors Forcing Union Nonmembers to Pay For Big Labor Lobbying
Since ex-AFL-CIO lawyer Nancy Schiffer’s NLRB term does not expire until December, and since, according to most observers, there is a real possibility that Harry Reid will lose control of the Senate next month, some pundits originally speculated that Big Labor’s future control over the NLRB might be in jeopardy.
What they failed to account for is Mr. Reid’s willingness to call a “lame duck” session to ram the Block nomination through before the new Senate is seated, even if the American people have just registered their disapproval of his subservience to Big Labor by ending his tenure as majority leader.
“During the 18 months she spent on the NLRB as an illegal appointee, Sharon Block proved time and again that she is virtually always ready to vote for union special interests,” said National Right to Work Committee Vice President Mary King.
“As a Wall Street Journal editorial recently pointed out, Ms. Block has even voted in favor of forcing union nonmembers to bankroll union lobbying ‘related’ to issues addressed in union monopoly bargaining, ‘in contradiction of the Supreme Court’s 1988 Beck decision.’
“Given her record of extremism, and her lack of compunction about sitting on the NLRB illegally, Ms. Block ought to be easy to stop in the Senate. In reality, this is a steeply uphill fight. But it’s one Right to Work members can’t avoid.”