The Washington Times - February 13, 2013, 10:59AM

In a provocative move, President Obama Wednesday re-nominated two controversial Democratic candidates to the National Labor Relations Board just weeks after a federal court invalided their recess appointments to the posts.

Mr. Obama again nominated Sharon Block, a former Democratic Labor Department official, and Richard Griffin, a Democratic union lawyer, to serve on the NLRB.

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled Jan. 25 that their appointments to the NLRB were invalid because Mr. Obama installed them in the posts in January 2012 through an unconstitutional exercise of his appointment powers. The court said the president did not have the authority to make the “recess appointments,” a means of circumventing the Senate confirmation process, because the Senate was not in recess at the time.

The ruling meant that the NLRB does not have a quorum to make decisions, throwing into doubt its actions for the past year.

Forty U.S. senators led by Republican Orrin G. Hatch of Utah have signed a letter calling on Mr. Griffin and Ms. Block to step aside.

“We write to insist that you immediately leave the National Labor Relations Board, withdraw from all Board activities and stop drawing salaries and other benefits associated with the positions you purport to hold, as your purported appointments have been found constitutionally invalid,” the letter read in part.