President Obama will nominate a Democrat and two Republicans to the labor board, including a lawyer who in 2011 faulted the agency’s prosecution of Boeing for opening a factory in South Carolina.
Obama on Tuesday nominated Republicans Harry Johnson, a lawyer with Arent Fox in L.A., and Philip Miscimarra, a partner at Morgan Lewis & Bockius, in Chicago, for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, whose term ended in August, was renominated.
If all three are confirmed by the Senate, the NLRB will be at full strength after a federal court in January said three 2012 appointees were “constitutionally invalid” because Obama had nominated Democrats Sharon Block and Richard Griffin when the Senate wasn’t officially in recess.
The administration has appealed to the Supreme Court. Republicans have sought to stop the board from issuing decisions until the issue is resolved.
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To prevent Obama from making appointments, House and Senate Republicans had refused to declare a recess, holding so-called pro-forma sessions every few days for less than 2 minutes. Miscimarra, a labor lawyer invited to testify before a House panel in South Carolina on June 17, 2011, criticized the board’s acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon, for issuing a complaint against Boeing in an unfair-labor practice case tied to building a factory in South Carolina, a state where laws forbid collective-bargaining agreements that require union membership. The board on Dec. 9, 2011, withdrew the complaint after Boeing reached an agreement with the International Association of Machinists, which had asked the board to get involved.