WASHINGTON –U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today called for the two remaining NLRB appointees as well as Richard Cordray, who was appointed to head the Consumer Financial Relations Board (CFPB), to immediately resign and provide a list of actions taken during their tenure. Johanns’ wrote to the appointees after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that President Obama violated the Constitution by making Presidential appointments without Senate confirmation when the Senate was in session. Click HERE to read Johanns’ letters to the appointees.
Johanns also wrote to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) asking how to unwind any regulations or rules imposed by these two agencies, which would now be void due to the unconstitutional nature of the appointments. Click HERE to read Johanns’ letter to the GAO.
"This isn’t about politics or the qualifications of the individuals involved,” Johanns said. “It’s about upholding the checks and balances enshrined in our Constitution. The only way to lift this cloud is for these appointees to immediately resign the posts they have unconstitutionally held for more than a year. We must also determine what actions the NLRB and CFPB have taken during that time, which are also likely unconstitutional.
“This Administration’s disregard for the Constitution has put a permanent stain on these organizations. It is a victory for our democratic system of government that this alarming power grab has been rejected.”
The President appointed Sharon Block, Richard Griffin, and Terence Flynn (who resigned in May) to the NLRB and Richard Cordray to head the CFPB on January 4, 2011. The court ruled the NLRB appointments were unconstitutional because the President only has the power to bypass the Senate’s roll to approve nominees during periods of Senate recess. The Senate, however, was not in recess when these appointments were made.
The D.C. Circuit Court only addressed the NLRB appointments because it ruled on a case brought by Noel Canning against the NLRB, but Cordray was appointed under the same circumstances.
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.”