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The 5-person National Labor Relations Board in effect only had 2 active members during 2008-2009 and the early part of 2010, during which it issued over 200 rulings and decisions in federal labor-management relations and collective bargaining law.  The NLRB attempted to justify the validity of these decisions by structuring its underfilled 2-person composition as being the majority (2) out of a quorum (3) of the full 5-person board.  The United States Supreme Court ruled last week that even a delegated subgroup of the NLRB requires at least 3 actual members to exercise the NLRB’s authority.  In effect, it appears that the last 200 plus decisions of the NLRB are not valid, resulting in considerable disruption both for the specific affected cases, and the rules or principles they purported to resolve.  The impact of this ruling in federal labor-management and collective bargaining law may be slightly diluted by the fact that NLRB Board positions are political appointments, and NLRB policies and rules often change anyway as a new administration’s Board members take hold.  (New Process Steel v. NLRB, U.S. Supreme Court No. 08-1457, June 17, 2010)

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