NLRB lawyer given more power to screw employers

Phil Kerpen:
Lafe Solomon is one of the most powerful bureaucrats in America and is about to get much more powerful. He is the acting general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), best known for suingBoeing Co. over the opening of a billion-dollar manufacturing plant that created thousands of jobs in South Carolina. He also is suing four states - Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah - for enacting state constitutional protections for secret ballot voting. He is about to inherit broad powers intended to be exercised by the NLRB itself, effectively making him President Obama’s newest czar. Perhaps he’ll be called the “no new jobs czar.”
The NLRB is presently operating with three board members, two of whom are left-wing union lawyers. One of those union lawyers, Craig Becker, is a recess appointee whose term will expire at the end of this year. TheSupreme Court has said the board cannot legally function with only two members. However, Mr. Obama is not inclined to appoint an additional member reasonable enough to pass Senate confirmation.
The board, therefore, adopted a Nov. 3 order that would clarify how it intends to operate when it no longer has a quorum. The order says: “theBoard has decided to temporarily delegate to the General Counsel full authority on all court litigation matters that would otherwise require Board authorization, and full authority to certify the results of any secret ballot election.”
The Nov. 3 order essentially gives Mr. Solomon unchecked powers. His actions will have the power of law until the NLRB again reaches a quorum of three. Czar, indeed.
Yet little is known about him, a career bureaucrat without much of a public body of work. We do know - from the Boeing litigation he is spearheading and his lawsuits against the states - that he has an aggressively pro-union, anti-business mentality. Thus, the order handing him powers intended to be exercised by the board is a dangerous move that the U.S. economy can’t afford.
Mr. Solomon has served as acting general counsel since June 21, 2010, and his nomination was officially submitted to the Senate on Jan. 5, 2011, but he has not even had his nomination to the position considered by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. That committee, chaired by veteran Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat, owes it to the American people to stop delaying this nomination.
His poor judgment in the Boeing case should be enough to disqualify him for his current job, much less any additional powers.  Obama should be challenged about his support for this runaway agency that is killing jobs in this country.


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