Jessica M. Karmasek Apr. 9, 2013, 6:15pm

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) -- President Barack Obama announced Tuesday he plans to nominate Philip Miscimarra, a partner in the labor and employment group of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, to be a member of the National Labor Relations Board.

Miscimarra joined Morgan Lewis' Chicago office in 2005. He is also a senior fellow in at the Wharton Center for Human Resources at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.

He is widely recognized for his academic work, including three books on the National Labor Relations Act and the NLRB.

The NLRB is responsible for conducting elections involving union representation and deciding cases that involve federal labor law.

Miscimarra has represented parties in significant matters involving the board, and has testified before Congress regarding labor and employment issues.

"I am pleased to nominate these individuals to serve on the National Labor Relations Board. By enforcing workplace protections, upholding the rights of workers and providing a stable workplace environment for businesses, the NLRB plays a vital role in our efforts to grow the economy and strengthen the middle class," Obama said Tuesday.

"With these nominations there will be five nominees to the NLRB, both Republicans and Democrats, awaiting Senate confirmation. I urge the Senate to confirm them swiftly so that this bipartisan board can continue its important work on behalf of the American people."

Morgan Lewis firm chair Francis Milone said Miscimarra's experience with clients and his work before the board will be a "great asset" to the NLRB, if he is confirmed.

Joseph Costello, who leads the firm's labor and employment group, agreed.

"Phil is an exceptional and dedicated lawyer," he said. "Should he be confirmed, we will miss having him here, but know that he will be an effective NLRB member."

Other Morgan Lewis partners who have served on the board include: Charles Cohen, who was appointed by former President Bill Clinton; and Peter Hurtgen, who was appointed by Clinton as a member and later appointed by former President George W. Bush as chair.

Board members are nominated by the President, subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

Currently, the board is at the center of a dispute over recess appointments.

In January, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the President's "intrasession appointment" of three new members to the board was an unconstitutional abuse of power because he could not make those appointments without U.S. Senate confirmation because the Senate was not in recess.

Obama said Tueday he also plans to re-nominate Mark Gaston Pearce and designate him chair of the board, and nominate Harry I. Johnson III as a member.

Pearce is currently chairman of the board, a position he has held since August 2011. He has served as a member since March 2010.

Johnson is currently a partner with Arent Fox LLP, a position he has held since 2010. Previously, he worked at Jones Day as a partner from 2006 to 2010 and as an associate from 1994 to 2005.

In February, the President re-nominated Sharon Block and Richard Griffin to the five member board.

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