January 26, 2013
In the midst of one of the coldest weather periods in recent years, the lopsided U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (lopsided because President Obama has not been able to get any Democratic judges onto the court, so three Republican holdovers, very anti-worker and anti-labor are the only judges on the court) turned a very cold shoulder towards the President's January 4th, 2012 recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.
These three NLRB seats had been left vacant due to an ongoing blockade by Senate Republicans to frustrate the legally mandated work of this important labor/management board. Their goal, as it has always been was to destroy any ability of an independent federal body, a body tasked with the job of insuring the rights of workers in the workplace, to actually function and do that job.
Last year, during the Congressional recess, President Obama had enough and appointed three distinguished new members to the NLRB. Since these three members were nominated by a Democratic president, a president who was strongly supported by labor, it was likely these appointments would be favorable to the worker's views. Republicans were so unhappy about this that they sued and now, almost a year later, they have issued a ruling that flies in the face of a long history of presidents using recess appointments to get their own friendly supporters onto federal positions that influence many facets on national policy.
The ruling of the federal court is as unfounded and shocking as the Bush vs. Gore ruling by the Supreme Court back in 2000 and smacks of a complete political intervention by jurists who supposedly espouse "judicial restraint." Such restraint is only apparently necessary when it is the lives and well-being of regular working folks at stake against the overwhelming power and $ fueled influence of mega-corporations (see the judicial victory favoring Walmart against over one million women workers in their class action unequal pay and opportunity lawsuit against their employer a few years back).
This is why it was so important to break that filibuster rule, but clearly the Dems cut a deal with Mitch McConnell and that is not going to happen. So we get stuck with a lopsided Republican controlled Federal Court, where they make the law up as they go.
Read the full text of President Trumka's pointed remarks here: http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Political-Action-Legislation/Trumka-Calls-Court-Ruling-on-NLRB-Appointments-Radical-and-Unprecedented