News Release

Former Rhode Island Nurse Files Brief in Obama NLRB "Recess Appointment" Supreme Court Case

Invalid Labor Board negates Supreme Court's restrictions on union bosses' power to force workers to pay for union politics

Washington, D.C. (November 25, 2013) – A former Warwick, Rhode Island nurse has filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the high-profile legal battle over President Barack Obama's recent purported recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Jeanette Geary filed the amicus brief today with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

Foundation staff attorneys argue in the brief that the recess appointments are unconstitutional because the U.S. Senate was still in session per the body's rules. Therefore the President could not make the appointments to the NLRB without Senate confirmation.

If Foundation attorneys' argument that the Obama's NLRB appointments are unconstitutional prevails at the High Court, then the Board had only two valid members and lacked the quorum it needed from April 2011 to August 2013 to enact rules or enforce federal labor law. The case is on appeal after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that President Obama's recess appointments were unconstitutional.

The brief makes the point that modern technology has reduced the need for recess appointments, which originally were intended for when a vacancy arose while Congress was unavailable for extended periods of time. Modern communications technology and air travel have made it so that Congress can consider a President's nominees at almost any time, regardless of the Senators' geographic dispersal.

Geary's case began when she filed a federal unfair labor practice charge against a local nursing union for illegally forcing her and other employees to pay for the union’s lobbying or lose their jobs. In 2012, President Obama's NLRB negated U.S. Supreme Court precedent and granted union bosses power to charge nonmember workers for union political lobbying, including political lobbying in other states.

In an effort to shut down these illegal NLRB appointees, Foundation attorneys filed a petition for a writ of mandamus asking the D.C. appeals court to bar the NLRB from further action in the case. That petition later became moot when the Senate confirmed a full Board.

"Jeanette Geary's case is just the latest example of how independent-minded workers have received unjust treatment at the hands of Obama’s illegal, pro-Big Labor NLRB," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "We hope the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn the President's illegal actions and restore the proper balance of power as prescribed in the U.S. Constitution."

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the NLRB recess appointment case on Monday, January 13, 2014.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.

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