GOP plans brief opposing Obama's labor board appointments

John O'Brien Apr. 17, 2012, 4:00pm


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - Senate Republicans are supporting the legal challenge of several recess appointments made by President Barack Obama.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Tuesday that former assistant to the Solicitor General Miguel Estrada will file an amicus brief on in a case challenging three appointments made by Obama to the National Labor Relations Board in January.

Obama appointed Terence Flynn, Sharon Block and Richard Griffin to the NLRB. He said they were made while Congress was in recess, but the GOP argues it was holding periodic pro forma sessions.

"The President's decision to circumvent the American people by installing his appointees at a powerful federal agency, when the Senate was not in recess, and without obtaining the advice and consent of the Senate, is an unprecedented power grab," McConnell said.

"We will demonstrate to the Court how the President's unconstitutional actions fundamentally endanger the Congress's role in providing a check on the excesses of the executive branch."

If the Obama appointees are unconstitutional, then the NLRB has only two members and lacks a quorum to enact rules or enforce federal labor law under a U.S. Supreme Court precedent issued in 2010.

In January, Obama also appointed former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head a new consumer protection agency. Cordray's nomination had been held up in the Senate by Republicans.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at

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