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Johanns Statement on President's Unconstitutional NLRB Appointments


Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today said the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reaffirmed his belief that President Obama violated the Constitution by appointing three members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last January.

"The Constitution serves to keep the powers of the federal government in check," Johanns said. "It's not there to be manipulated for the sake of political expediency. No one is above the law and this court unanimously reaffirmed that.

"These appointments disregarded our Constitution and any action taken by the NLRB over the past year should rightfully be invalid. This ruling also raises serious concerns about the Constitutionality of actions taken by another of President Obama's non-recess appointments, Richard Cordray."

The President appointed Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) the same day as his NLRB appointments. The CFPB is a new organization that operates with little transparency or oversight.

According to the court, the President sidestepped the Constitution by appointing Sharon Block, Terence Flynn and Richard Griffin to the labor board while the Senate was in session. Flynn stepped down from the NLRB in May.

The court's ruling was on a case brought by Noel Canning, a family-owned business in Washington State. The company sued NLRB based on its belief that any ruling from the board was void due to the unconstitutionality of these appointments.

The court's opinion reads that, "allowing the President to define the scope of his own appointments power" and allowing these nominations to stand, "would wholly defeat the purpose of the Framers in the careful separation of powers."

Johanns, last September, filed an amicus brief supporting Noel Canning in that challenge.

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