US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Harkin Statement on Supreme Court Decision to Review Appeals Court Ruling on Recess Appointments

Monday, June 24, 2013

WASHINGTON—Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement in reaction to the United States Supreme Court’s announcement that it will review a federal appeals court ruling that President Obama’s intrasession appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were unconstitutional:

“I am pleased the Supreme Court has decided to promptly review the D.C. Circuit’s decision regarding the legality of the recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.  The decision the Court will review was not only a radical departure from precedent, but it ignored or summarily dismissed the legal analysis from three other federal appellate courts.  The D.C. Circuit also turned a blind eye to history, ignoring that Democratic and Republican Presidents alike have made liberal use of intrasession recess appointments for years.  I have urged the NLRB to continue to do its business until and unless the Supreme Court rules on this important question, and in the meantime, I will fight to get a full slate of nominees confirmed to the National Labor Relations Board so that the agency can continue its important mission.”

Under Harkin’s leadership, the Senate HELP Committee approved a full slate of nominees to the NLRB in May.

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