Cablevision has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in an investigation by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) about complaints involving 22 former workers that were allegedly wrongfully terminated.
This battle between the media giant and the Communications Workers of America is hardly new information as they have been fighting for the past year, but this most recent move is telling specifically because of what it implies about the authority of the NLRB.
A different case, National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, a court is considering the idea that the NLRB's members, or at least 3 of them, were not "validly appointed" as they were all Presidential appointments made while the Senate was on recess. The short of it is: this incredibly powerful government group that is required to have congressional oversight has been functioning for the last year with a majority of its members having no such oversight. This is known commonly as being "unconstitutional" and has turned a few heads and will likely now turn the Supreme Court's as well.
But it's hardly surprising that a president that has sought unprecedented executive authority, abused programs he'd previously decried as "too powerful" when he was a candidate, wielded the IRS as a weapon to browbeat political opponents, and used his authority to cover-up and otherwise protect his powerful allies when convenient, would then use recess appointments to stack a group that traditionally favors unions.
Think I'm being harsh? Here's what Cablevision said in their press release yesterday:
"The role of Congress is to ensure a balanced NLRB and the Obama Administration bypassed Congress in order to stack the NLRB in favor of Big Labor. Two different federal courts -- the D.C. Circuit and the Third Circuit -- have established that the NLRB is illegally constituted and has no authority to take action. The NLRB continues to ignore these rulings, and we ask the Supreme Court to compel the NLRB to immediately halt its unlawful proceedings against Cablevision."
This is a fundamental fight over whether the White House has to listen to either the legislative OR judicial branch. Currently, they are out of the control of any other branch of government.