On Tuesday, July 31, the Senate voted to confirm President Obama’s five nominations to the National Labor Relations Board. The new members of the board are Nancy Schiffer, Kent Hirozawa, Philip Miscimarra, Harry Johnson III, and Mark Pearce.
As part of a Senate compromise to avoid the “nuclear option,” or a suspension of the need for a super-majority for confirmation, the original nominees, Sharon Block and Robert Griffin, were replaced with Nancy Schiffer and Kent Hirozawa. The two new nominees would make Senate Republicans regret ever denying Block and Griffin. Schiffer was deputy counsel for the AFL-CIO and formerly counsel for the United Auto Workers while Hirozawa was chief counsel to NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce and viewed as a continuation of Pearce’s pro-labor policies.
Philip Miscimarra and Harry Johnson III were the two Republicans nominated to the board. Miscimarra is a partner at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, a labor and employment group. Johnson is a partner with Arent Fox LLP. Mark Pearce was confirmed for a second term to once again serve as Chairman of the NLRB.
The confirmation of these nominees restored the legitimacy of the NLRB. Prior to confirmation, numerous courts had found the president’s appointments unconstitutional, rendering the decisions of the board invalid. With Pearce, Schiffer, and Hirozawa as the pro-labor majority at the board, labor will be able to continue its push for more union power.