Late last week, the White House announced that President Barack Obama will be nominating former recess appointee Sharon Block to the National Labor Relations Board. As explained by the Wall Street Journal, the Senate’s vote to eliminate filibustering of presidential nominees effectively hamstrings any Republican attempts to block her nomination from a vote.
Block, who originally served as a Board member in 2012 and 2013, has garnered controversy as one of the three recess appointments whose tenure was recently invalidated by the U.S. Supreme Court in its Noel Canning decision. However, MLA Attorney Seth Borden notes that Block’s tenure was not as controversial as other recent Board Members:
“Of all of the nominees to the board in the past few years, I think there’s a general feeling that hers was never really one of the more controversial ones, substantively,” said Borden. “I don’t think you will see the type of visceral objection or concern that you saw with someone like [former NLRB member] Craig Becker.”
Block, if approved, would succeed Member Nancy Schiffer, whose term expires December 16 of this year. Both Block and Schiffer are Democrats, so labor watchers should expect more employee-friendly decisions in the near future. As Borden notes, if Block’s nomination is confirmed, her appointment will not “change at all the philosophical direction of this board. Not even for a second.”
We will keep you posted as Ms. Block’s nomination moves through the confirmation process.
In the meantime, more on this story can be found here:
- Obama Taps Controversial Nominee for Labor Board-ABC News
- Obama Picks Former Recess Appointee for US Labor Board-Bloomberg
- Obama picks former recess appointee to serve on US labor board-Akron Beacon Journal