The Senate HELP Committee will hold a hearing on the Craig Becker nomination to the NLRB on February 2 at 4:00 p.m. (http://help.senate.gov/Hearings/2010_02_02/2010_02_02.html). The Committee will then consider him and we expect Becker’s nomination will be approved and likely referred to the full Senate for confirmation. Senate Democrats may try to rush Becker’s confirmation vote as their 60-vote “supermajority” will vanish with the swearing-in of Massachusetts’ Republican Senator-elect Scott Brown.
It has been reported that a group of 66 labor law professors said in their January 21, 2010, letter to the Senate’s majority and minority leaders that they “believe firmly that, if confirmed, Mr. Becker will prove to be one of the most respected Board Members in the history of the NLRB.” This may not be as objective an academic assessment of Becker’s qualifications as it seems. Two leaders of this group, Catherine Fisk of the University of California-Irvine School of Law and Benjamin Sachs, like Becker, have ties to SEIU. They were appointed to the SEIU Ethics Review Board in 2009. Additionally, Sachs was Assistant General Counsel of SEIU, and Fisk has been openly in favor of EFCA. Another leader of the group, James Brudney of Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law, was a law firm associate who represented unions and was Counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on Labor 1987-1992, when the Senate had Democrats in the majority.
We will keep you updated.