Supreme Court bars two-member NLRB from making rulings
The National Labor Relations Board can't make decisions with just two members, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled today.

The NLRB operated with only two members for more than two years. Political disputes have held up nominees from both President Barack Obama and former president George W. Bush.

The remaining two members continued to issue decisions for 27 months. But the court, by a 5-4 vote, said the National Labor Relations Act requires a quorum of at least three members.

The decision won't have an impact on the decision by the NLRB to subject tribes and their on-reservation enterprises to the NLRA. That ruling came in 2004, long before the current dispute.

Regional directors of the NLRB have continued to cite the ruling in more recent years but it doesn't immediately appear that any of these cases went to the main NLRB board in Washington, D.C.

Peter C. Schaumber serves as chairman of the NLRB. He was the only member to dissent in the 2004 decision and he has said he will continue to vote against efforts to impose the NLRA on tribe.

The Supreme Court's decision also won't have an impact on current cases because two more members were seated to the NLRB in April through recess appointments made by Obama.

Get the Story:
Court: 2-person labor board can't make decisions (AP 6/16)

Supreme Court Decision in New Process Steel v. NLRB:
Syllabus | Opinion [Stevens] | Dissent [Kennedy]