News Releases

Jan 31 2013


40 Senators Seek Immediate Action after Court Rules Appointments Unconstitutional

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Citing a court decision that rules that their supposed “recess appointments” are unconstitutional, U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss) today strongly urged two members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to immediately leave the agency.

The Mississippi Senators are among 40 Senators who have signed a letter to NLRB members Sharon Block and Richard F. Griffin, Jr., that outlines the reasons for them to leave the agency.  The letter was prompted by a unanimous U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that found President Obama’s “recess appointments” violated the U.S. Constitution.

Cochran and Wicker immediately opposed the President’s supposed appointments, which were made in January 2012 while the Senate was conducting a series of pro forma sessions.  Last September, they were among 42 other Senators who joined an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit that challenged those attempted appointments (

“The court clearly affirmed the Senate’s constitutional power of advice and consent on presidential appointees. The determination that the President acted unconstitutionally, specifically with regard to the National Labor Relations Board, should have immediate consequences for those whom the President unconstitutionally tried to put on the board,” Cochran said.

“The court’s decision has broad implications for the validity of the NLRB’s actions over the past year,” said Wicker.  “The Constitution does not change based on which political party is in power.  A functioning democracy requires upholding the limits on the powers our Framers enshrined in the Constitution.  The court ruling against the President’s ‘recess’ appointments is an important rejection of this overreach and comes at an appropriate time for the Constitution and the American people.”

The letter, authored by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), explains that Block and Griffin should not only leave the board, but also “withdraw from all Board activities, stop drawing salaries and other benefits associated with the positions you purport to hold, as your purported appointments have been found constitutionally invalid.”

“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.  We urge you to do so,” the correspondence concludes.

A PDF copy of the signed letter is available below.



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