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Court Rules NLRB Appointments Unconstitutional

WASHINGTON — Retail groups on Friday applauded a federal appeals court ruling finding that President Obama’s appointments to the National Labor Relations Board a year ago were unconstitutional.

The appointments of Sharon Block, Richard Griffin and Terence Flynn to fill vacancies on the NLRB were made a year ago while Congress was on a holiday break but still in session, the three-judge panel ruled. Obama made the choices after Senate Republicans on several occasions voted to block appointments made during the session.

The appointments raised the ire of business groups and Republican lawmakers concerned that Griffin and Block were biased toward labor unions. Flynn, a Republican, has already resigned from the board.

The White House is expected to appeal the ruling, the Washington Post reported.

The National Grocers Association, Arlington, Va., said it supports the ruling.

"NGA believes that the Constitutional separation of powers is important, and the unconstitutional appointments in this case illustrate those limits were surpassed," said Peter J. Larkin, president and chief executive officer, NGA. "Looking forward, we will continue to support efforts to curtail excessive and burdensome regulations and to ensure a level playing field for employees and employers."

Read more: NGA Opposes NLRB Appointments

“Today’s decision found grievous fault with President Obama’s use of recess appointments to constitute the NLRB, and has effectively derailed the Administration’s attempt to implement the so-called Employee Free Choice Act through executive power," said David French, senior vice president, government relations, National Retail Federation. “The court has rightly recognized the Senate’s important role in providing advice and consent on executive appointments. This decision has provided the Administration yet another opportunity to work with Congress and the business community to rehabilitate the battered NLRB."

Bill Hughes, senior vice president for government affairs for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, said that group also "applauds the court’s decision."

“The NLRB’s activist agenda has gone unchecked, resulting in numerous actions that have overturned decades of precedent to establish micro-unions and deny employers due process rights," he said in a statement. "These decisions and countless others hurt businesses and undermine needed job creation.”

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