Labor Pains

When thinking about the National Labor Relations Board under President Obama, most observers recall the 2014 decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning, in which the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Obama’s kangaroo-court “recess appointments”—made when the Senate was not actually in recess—were invalid.

Noel Canning was a huge setback for the administration, requiring the NLRB to reconsider 700 decisions rendered during the period in which it lacked a legitimate quorum.

Few have noticed, however, that the Board has not altered its course since that defeat. President Obama managed to win Senate confirmation of enough replacements for his invalidated appointments to regain a quorum, and the reconstituted NLRB, with a Democratic advantage, has revisited and approved many of the bogus decisions issued by its defective predecessor.

Why such dogged determination? Because this venerable administrative agency, established in 1935 to enforce one of the keystones of New Deal legislation, the National Labor Relations Act, presides over a steadily shrinking sector of workers. The Democratic Party is scrambling to preserve an endangered species: the private sector union.

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