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Policy: Labor

Senate set to vote on controversial NLRB nominee Richard Griffin

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Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins,Labor unions,Barack Obama,Senate,President,Labor,Harry Reid,NLRB,Analysis,Presidential Nominees

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has scheduled a vote Monday on the nomination of ex-National Labor Relations Board member Richard Griffin to be the board's new general counsel.

Reid filed cloture on the nomination Oct. 16, indicating that Griffin had been filibustered. Griffin has been controversial due to his prior tenure on the labor law enforcement agency's board.

Griffin, a former top lawyer with the International Union of Operating Engineers, was recess appointed to the NLRB by President Obama in January 2012. Obama did so despite the fact that Senate was not in recess at the time.

The nomination was later declared unconstitutional by multiple lower federal courts. The Supreme Court is scheduled to take up the case later this year.

Republicans balked at approving a formal Senate nomination in July, calling Griffin's nomination tainted. It was dropped as part of a deal to preserve the Senate filibuster.

Under heavy pressure from unions, Obama subsequently nominated Griffin to be the NLRB's top lawyer. The position is arguably as powerful as that of a board member, since the counsel acts independently.

It was Lafe Solomon, the current acting general counsel, who instigated the NLRB's controversial complaint again Boeing, not the board members.

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