The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has ruled 3-0 that President Obama’s appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) made last summer are unconstitutional because the Senate was not formally adjourned. The ruling, which could invalidate hundreds of decisions and leave the the NLRB without a quorum to function, will likely be appealed by the Obama administration to the Supreme Court.

All three judges on the panel are Republican appointees.

“An interpretation of ‘the Recess’ that permits the president to decide when the Senate is in recess would demolish the checks and balances inherent in the advice-and-consent requirement, giving the president free rein to appoint his desired nominees at any time he pleases, whether that time be a weekend, lunch, or even when the Senate is in session and he is merely displeased with its inaction,” Chief Judge David Sentelle, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan, wrote in his decision. “This cannot be the law.” You can read the whole opinion here.

If the Court finds that the president can only exercise his Constitutional right to make recess appointments when a Senate’s two-year session ends, this will be a huge boost to GOP obstruction. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to approve the president’s nominees for the NLRB or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

This case, brought by a business group working with Senate Republicans, only affects the appointments to the NLRB. The appointment of Richard Cordray, the former Ohio attorney general who was appointed director of the CFPB at the same time, faces a separate legal challenge.

The NLRB was formed in 1934 as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal to conduct elections for labor unions investigate unfair labor practices. The conservative movement has waged a decades-long war on unions that has resulted in the lowest union membership in 97 years. Meanwhile, the U.S. is experiencing record high corporate profits along with record low worker wages.

White House press secretary Jay Carney responded to the court’s ruling in his daily press briefing. “”We disagree strongly with the decision,” he said.


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mark Levin

Politico reported Friday that John Eastman, the disgraced ex-law professor who formulated many of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, was also apparently in communication with Fox News host Mark Levin. The story gets even more interesting from there, revealing the shell game that right-wing media personalities engage in while doubling as political operatives.

A legal filing by Eastman’s attorneys reveals that, among the messages Eastman is still attempting to conceal from the House January 6 committee are 12 pieces of correspondence with an individual matching Levin’s description as “a radio talk show host, is also an attorney, former long-time President (and current board chairman) of a public interest law firm, and also a former fellow at The Claremont Institute.” Other details, including a sloppy attempt to redact an email address, also connect to Levin, who did not respond to Politico’s requests for comment.

Keep reading... Show less

Sen. Wendy Rogers

Youtube Screenshot

There have been powerful indicators of the full-bore radicalization of the Republican Party in the past year: the 100-plus extremist candidates it fielded this year, the apparent takeover of the party apparatus in Oregon, the appearance of Republican officials at white nationalist gatherings. All of those are mostly rough gauges or anecdotal evidence, however; it’s been difficult to get a clear picture of just how deeply the extremism has penetrated the party.

Using social media as a kind of proxy for their real-world outreach—a reasonable approach, since there are few politicians now who don’t use social media—the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights decided to get a clearer picture of the reach of extremist influences in official halls of power by examining how many elected officials participate in extremist Facebook groups. What it found was deeply troubling: 875 legislators in all 50 states, constituting nearly 22% of all elected GOP lawmakers, identified as participating members of extremist Facebook groups.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}