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Political Wrangling May Cripple The NLRB

Publication Date: 
September 16, 2011
Daily Journal
Brian Summers

Professor William Gould is quoted by Brian Summers of the Daily Journal on the battle between the National Labor Relations Board and the Republican Party and the probability Republicans will "follow through on their threat and not allow the board to function."

With a Democratic member's recess appointment set to expire in December, the National Labor Relations Board may be sidelined from issuing decisions due to a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision and party squabbling in Washington.

Republican Congressional leaders, upset with what they say have been sweeping anti-business decisions made this summer, have suggested they won't confirm appointments made by President Barack Obama. In the past, presidents have made recess appointments to temporarily fill spots, but House Republicans have kept the chamber in constant pro forma sessions in recent months, so that option may no longer be possible.

"The Republicans in the Congress have such an abiding hatred for the NLRB and labor law generally that I think it's quite probable that they will follow through on their threat and not allow the board to function," said William B. Gould IV, chairman of the NLRB from 1994 to 1998 and a law professor emeritus at Stanford University.