The NLRB’s petition to the United States Supreme Court for review of Noel Canning is due April 25. The Supreme Court will be the most important battleground for resolution of the question whether President Barack Obama’s recess appointments of NLRB Members Sharon Block, Richard Griffin and former-Member Terence F. Flynn were constitutional.

Even after the petition for review is filed, other skirmishes over the appointments will continue. A number of them are being fought now. For instance, in a case involving Laboratory Corporation of America, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia  recently transferred a Noel Canning dispute to the federal District Court in New Jersey based on a request by the NLRB. See Noel Canning Update: NLRB Fights Back. Now, Congress has entered the fray as a bill prohibiting the NLRB from acting at this time makes its way from the U.S. House of Representatives to the Senate.

The House passed H.R.1120, the “Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act,” by a 219-209 vote. The bill states, “The Board shall not appoint any personnel, nor implement, administer, or enforce any decision, rule, vote, or other action decided, undertaken, adopted, issued, or finalized on or after January 4, 2012, that requires a quorum of the members of the Board. ” These prohibitions would cease when one of three circumstances exists: (1) the NLRB has a quorum consisting of Senate-confirmed members; (2) the Supreme Court issues a decision on the validity of the disputed recess appointments; or (3) a sine die adjournment (an adjournment without another date or time to meet having been set) of the first session of the 113th Congress. (The sine die adjournment of the first session of the 113th Congress would mark the end of the recess appointments of Members Block and Griffin.) Except where the prohibitions terminate because of a Supreme Court decision, the bill also would require a Senate-confirmed quorum of the Board to act upon any of the decisions the Board made when the recess appointments were in question before those decisions may be enforced.

The bill is largely symbolic – another example of Republicans’ disdain for the current NLRB and how the White House has handled the Board nomination process. It is not expected to pass the Senate, and, in the unlikely event it does, President Obama has made it clear he will veto it.

The battle rages on.

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Photo of Howard M. Bloom Howard M. Bloom

Howard M. Bloom is a Principal in the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has practiced labor and employment law representing exclusively employers for more than 36 years.

Mr. Bloom counsels clients in a variety of industries on labor law issues.

Howard M. Bloom is a Principal in the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has practiced labor and employment law representing exclusively employers for more than 36 years.

Mr. Bloom counsels clients in a variety of industries on labor law issues. He trains and advises executives, managers and supervisors on union awareness and positive employee relations, and assists employers in connection with union card-signing efforts, traditional union representation and corporate campaigns, and union decertification campaigns. He also represents clients at the National Labor Relations Board in connection with bargaining unit issues, objections and challenges, as well as unfair labor practice investigations and trials. Mr. Bloom also has been the spokesperson at countless first and successor contract collective bargaining negotiations, and regularly advises on collective bargaining agreement administration issues, including grievance/arbitration issues.

Mr. Bloom has appeared before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, several U.S. District Courts, the National Labor Relations Board, the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

Mr. Bloom speaks frequently to employer groups on a wide range of labor and employment law topics. He also has written extensively on labor and employment law for a variety of publications, including New England Business magazine, The Boston Globe and the Boston Business Journal. He also is editor of and a frequent contributor to the Jackson Lewis Labor & Collective Bargaining Blog.

While attending law school, he was the Executive Editor of The Advocate: the Suffolk University Law School Journal and President of the Student Bar Association.

Mr. Bloom is a diehard baseball fan. His first book, The Baseball Uncyclopedia: A Highly Opinionated Myth-Busting Guide to the Great American Game, was published in February 2006.