The Corner

Hobbling the NLRB

I’ve written several times about the inherently politicized nature of the National Labor Relations Board — the body tasked with enforcing the National Labor Relations Act, which governs union matters at most private firms. Republican presidents stock it with lawyers who represent management for a living, Democrats stock it with union stooges, and the Obama administration in particular has used it to tilt the playing field in its preferred direction.

Well, it looks like the problem may be put on hold. Republican NLRB member Brian E. Hayes — whom Obama himself appointed to satisfy the requirement that no more than three of the board’s members can be from the president’s party — has threatened to resign in protest. The board has dwindled down to three members total since Hayes’s appointment, so this would deny the board a quorum. The New York Times has the story:

Mr. Hayes has made his threat expressly to block the Democratic-dominated board from adopting new rules to speed up unionization elections, which the board’s other current members, both Democrats, intend to pass Nov. 30.

But even if Mr. Hayes does not resign, the appointment of one of the Democrats expires at the end of the year. With Senate Republicans vowing to block any replacement nominees, the board will have only two of the five members it is supposed to have — not enough to issue any decisions or rules.

Peter Kirsanow explained why the proposed election rules are problematic here. And if a quorum is denied, the NLRB will also be unable to act on the notorious complaint its general counsel filed against Boeing.

This is not the ideal way to handle the situation — the ideal way would be to amend the NLRA so that it gives less power to the unelected NLRB, or, better yet, to repeal the NLRA entirely. But given the political reality, leaving the NLRA in place while crippling the NLRB may be the best option.

Most Popular


The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More