The Senate approved Richard Griffin Jr. on Oct. 30 as the new general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board. The appointment follows a turbulent summer for the group, which lost its acting GC, Lafe Solomon, in August.
Griffin was President Barrack Obama’s pick for the post and will now be responsible for investigating and prosecuting those in violation of the National Labor Relations Act for the board. Griffin will hold the GC position for a four-year term.
The appointment was confirmed along the party lines with a 55-44 vote. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the only Republican to back Griffin’s nomination. The vote took place after eight Republican Senators joined with Democrats to invoke cloture, hoping to speed the appointment process and decisions by the board, which has been in limbo without an acting GC. Griffin himself is a Democrat.
In January of 2012, Griffin was appointed to the NLRB’s board as a recess appointment by President Obama. However, after a ruling that some of the president’s recess appointments were unconstitutional, Griffin was relieved of his post on the NLRB as part of a deal made between the president and Republicans. As a result of that deal, the president was able to keep a number of his other recess appointments in place.
The appointment of the previous GC of the NLRB was ruled invalid in August, and efforts to replace the sitting GC had been slow until now. Previous GC Lafe Solomon’s appointment was thrown out as part of the district court decision in Hooks v. Kitsap Tenant Support Services, Inc.
Griffin is expected to continue to prosecute along the same lines as Solomon, with an agenda that has been called pro-union by his critics.
For more information on how this story developed check out this from InsideCounsel: