Bringing the Constitutional Fight to Obama

On Wednesday, January 4th, President Barack H. Obama said, “The American people deserve to have qualified public servants fighting for them every day …  We can’t wait to act to strengthen the economy and restore security for our middle class and those trying to get in it, and that’s why I am proud to appoint these fine individuals to get to work for the American people.”  With that statement, Obama announced recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The problem is that the U.S. Senate was not in recess, and had in fact passed a two-month extension of the payroll-tax holiday during period that the President claimed was a Senatorial recess.  Therefore, he no constitutional authority to make any recess appointments.  Obama trampled over the “separations of powers” and bypassed the U.S. Senate’s “advice and consent” regarding these appointments creating a constitutional crisis and another NLRB quagmire.

As with the NLRB v. SC Boeing Employees case generated by another Obama NLRB appointee, Obama puts creates another potential economic calamity.  Previously the Obama NLRB manufactured unprecedented charges against free enterprise and state Right To Work protections, and now Obama has reached even further and created a constitutional crisis.

If Obama’s actions stand, the President, not the U.S. Senate, will determine when congress is in session and when it is not.  This public flaunting of the constitution can only leave one to question how many other parts of the constitution has President Obama secretly ignored.

Just as the NLRB’s Boeing case created turmoil for current and potential U.S. Employers, Obama’s three new NLRB appointees mired in a constitutional cloud create more uncertainty in our fragile economic climate.  Nine days later, rather than allow that uncertainty to continue, the National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation, National Federation of Independent Business, and the Coalition for Democratic Workplace chose to confront the issues and force the Obama Administration to defend its actions now rather than permit the Obama NLRB malaise to languish for months.

From the NRTW press release:

The new filings in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia case comes after NLRB lawyers notified the court that President Obama’s recent recess appointees were now parties in the ongoing legal battle. Under the U.S. Supreme Court’s New Process Steel decision, the NLRB needs three members to act.  However, three of the five current NLRB members were installed by unilateral Presidential appointment earlier this year, despite the fact that the Senate was not in a self-declared recess.

In the motion papers, Foundation attorneys argue that the controversial appointees to the Board are not legitimate because the U.S. Senate is still in session per the body’s rules, so there was no “recess” for the President to make appointments without Senate confirmation. Therefore the NLRB lacks the necessary quorum to implement the new posting rules. Foundation attorneys are asking the judge to rule on the constitutionality of the three recess appointees.

We need more groups willing to stand up to the Obama Administration.  The American economy needs to be unleashed soon, or it may take generations to rebuild.  As the Obama Administration continues in its panicked power-grab mode, it is time start making these Big Labor steals more expensive than they are worth to this Administration.

- Don Loos

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