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Make the NLRB less great again (Read More…)

Opinion By Washington Examiner | Jul 3, 2017

“Stop the presses! President Trump has nominated a second new commissioner to the National Labor Relations Board!”

Okay, yes, we jest. In reality, most Americans have probably never heard of the panel. They haven’t heard of William Emanuel or Marvin Kaplan — Trump’s appointees to the panel. They aren’t aware that this will give the panel its first Republican majority since 2009, and they probably haven’t even heard the acronym NLRB, let alone have the foggiest idea what it stands for.

But during the Obama years, the NLRB suddenly took on an outsized importance in Washington. It issued scads of economically crucial rulings, upending centuries of legal precedent on a cumulative basis, and leaving a lot of messes that Trump’s appointees must now clean up. One of the clear lessons of the Obama era is that this obscure panel possesses — or at least aspires to — far more power than it really ought to have.

The NLRB’s ostensible purpose is to promote labor peace by resolving disputes between workers, employers and unions so that they don’t need to clog the federal court dockets. But during the Obama era, the NLRB morphed into a crusading mini-legislature seeking to slow or reverse the natural demise of labor unions. It propagated many dubious rulings that overturned decades of established precedent. Over the objections of its Republican minority, the panel even attempted to establish new rules on employers never previously found guilty of unfair employment practices.

Many recent NLRB actions had to be overturned by the courts later, and some must still be overturned.

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