President Obama Re-Nominates Recess Appointee Sharon Block to Fill Next NLRB Vacancy


The White House announced on Friday that it will re-nominate former Member Sharon Block to the NLRB, likely to replace Nancy Schiffer, whose appointment expires later this year. Block was one of the recess appointees to the Board that the Supreme Court held to be unconstitutional in its Noel Canning decision.

Block left the Board as part of the compromise hammered out by Senators that returned a full complement of five members to the NLRB late last summer. President Obama agreed to withdraw his nominations of recess appointees Richard Griffin, who was later nominated and confirmed as the Board’s general counsel, and Block. Their posts were replaced by Schiffer and Kent Hirozawa. The other nominees confirmed as part of the deal were Philip Miscimarra, Harry Johnson, III and current Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce. In December, Member Schiffer’s seat will be the first of those appointments to expire. Mr. Hirozawa was appointed to former Member Liebman’s seat, and his term does not expire until August 2016.

Prior to serving on the Board as a recess appointee, Sharon Block was the deputy secretary for congressional affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor. Block previously served as senior labor and employment counsel for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee from 2006 to 2009. Prior to that experience, Block worked as a senior attorney to former NLRB Chairman Robert Battista and as an attorney in the NLRB’s appellate court branch.

Block’s eventual confirmation, which with the Senate’s anti-filibuster rule in place is probably a fait accompli, should affirm the Board’s ideological agreement with the holdings in the key invalidated decisions in Noel Canning. Her reappointment to the Board will help NLRB Chairman Pearce move more quickly to review and affirm the invalidated decisions even after Member Schiffer’s term expires. 

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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