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Corker: Court ruling calls into question hundreds of labor board decisions

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A court ruling that President Obama overstepped his constitutional authority by going around the Senate to name two appointees to the National Labor Relations Board could invalidate hundreds of the board's rulings, Sen. Bob Corker said Sunday.

Mr. Corker, Tennessee Republican, said last week's ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit could invalidate more than 300 rulings issued by the board in 2012.

"Could well do it. In each case someone might have to challenge those rulings to make them invalid, but certainly that's what we said at the time — these people were going to be working in vain and the rulings that they come forth with were going to be challenged," Mr. Corker said on "Fox News Sunday." "That's turned out to be the case."

The Obama administration is expected to appeal the lower-court ruling to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Corker, who signed a brief along with 41 other senators in support of Noel Canning in the case against the NLRB's recess appointments, called it a "huge victory for whoever believes in balance of power."

But Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, appearing on the same show, said the Obama administration had been forced by Republicans into making the appointments unilaterally.

"We reached that point because we couldn't go through the orderly process of reviewing nominees and literally voting on them. It was a question ... whether or not there would ever be a vote. And in its frustration, this administration said we were elected to govern ... they wanted to put people in place to govern," Mr. Durbin said.

Mr. Obama appointed three new NLRB board members — union lawyer Richard Griffin and Labor Department official Sharon Block, both Democrats, and a Republican, NLRB lawyer Terence Flynn, in early 2012 — during what his administration argued was effectively a Senate recess. But Republicans contend they were in a pro forma session and, therefore, recess appointments could not be made.

The NLRB's board issued 341 decisions for fiscal 2012, according to agency documents, a period that largely overlapped with the time when the three contested appointees officially joined the board.

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