More than a third of the entire Senate has demanded that President Barack Obama‚??s controversial appointments to a labor board that were recently ruled by a court as unconstitutional immediately resign those positions.
‚??The right course of action is for you to leave the board immediately and cease acting in an official capacity that you legally lack, and for the president to nominate new individuals and allow the Senate to provide its advice and consent,‚?Ě said the letter Thursday from 38 Republican lawmakers.
The letter was written by Republican Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Senate minority leader.
The letter was addressed to Sharon Block and Richard F. Griffin, Jr., whose appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in January 2012 were invalidated last week the by the District of Columbia‚??s U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court unanimously ruled that the president does not have free reign to decide when the Senate is or is not in recess to make the so-called recess appointments, thereby avoiding a vote by the upper chamber.
‚??This will not do,‚?Ě the court wrote. ‚??Allowing the president to define the scope of his own appointments power would eviscerate the Constitution‚??s separation of powers.‚?Ě
Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers also introduced two key pieces of legislation Thursday to address the issue.
The Restoring the Constitutional Balance of Power Act would prohibit the NLRB from enforcing any of the board‚??s decisions that required a quorum be present for a vote. The Advice and Consent Restoration Act would cut off the board member‚??s salary and block future action of the board until the two members are replaced.
‚??American democracy was born out of a rejection of the monarchies of Western Europe, anchored by limited government and separation of powers,‚?Ě said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a sponsor of the balance of powers bill. ‚??We refuse to stand by as this president arrogantly casts aside our Constitution and defies the will of the American people under the guise of defending them.‚?Ě