Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

President Bush Announces His Proposed NLRB Appointments

Nlrb On Jan. 25, 2008, President Bush announced his intent to reappoint  Robert Battista and Dennis Walsh to the Board and to appoint management attorney Gerald Morales to the National Labor Relations Board. The full Press release is available here. It provides as follows:

The President intends to nominate Robert J. Battista, of Michigan, to be a Member and designate Chair upon confirmation of the National Labor Relations Board, for the remainder of a five-year term expiring 12/16/09. Mr. Battista recently served as Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board. Prior to this, he served as a Partner at Butzel Long. Mr. Battista received his bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame and his JD from the University of Michigan Law School.

The President intends to nominate Gerard Morales, of Arizona, to be a Member of the National Labor Relations Board, for a five-year term expiring 12/16/12. Mr. Morales currently serves as a Partner at Snell & Wilmer, LLP. Prior to this, he served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Arizona College of Law. Earlier in his career, he served as a Field Attorney at the National Labor Relations Board. Mr. Morales received his bachelor's degree from Stetson University, his master's degree from Tulane University, and his JD from Tulane University.

The President intends to nominate Dennis P. Walsh, of Maryland, to be a Member of the National Labor Relations Board for the remainder of a five-year term expiring 08/27/08 and an additional five-year term expiring 08/27/13. Mr. Walsh recently served as a Member of the National Labor Relations Board. Prior to this, he served as Special Assistant to a Board Member of the National Labor Relations Board. Earlier in his career, he served as Chief Counsel to a Board Member of the National Labor Relations Board. Mr. Walsh received his bachelor's degree from Hamilton College and his JD from Cornell University.

I have not been able to find much about this on the internet. Senator Kennedy apparently thought that the President was only appointing two Republicans when in fact he also nominated former Democratic Member Walsh. Senator Kennedy issued the following statement on his web site:

  It’s unbelievable that President Bush would renominate Mr. Battista to the Board, after he led the most anti-worker, anti-labor, anti-union Board in its history.  America’s hard-working men and women deserve a Board that will uphold their rights, not undermine them.  With these nominations, the Administration has again demonstrated its hostility to fairness and justice in the workplace.”

Mr. MoraIes appears to be a management attorney from Phoenix. Battista's term as Chairman just ended and his anti-union decisions are well known. I do not think there is any, repeat any, chance that Battista stands a chance in this Democratically controlled Senate. Additionally, I also think that there is virtually no chance that Morales will be confirmed. While I do believe that the Senate would confirm Walsh, I doubt that the Senate would agree to any package that included Battista. I also doubt that the President would appoint Walsh alone because that would give the Democrats control of the Board.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein    

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Comments

I have had the misfortune of having Gerald Morales opposing me on a number of occasions over the years. He is passionately anti-union and anti-employee. He thinks it is fun to defeat a union at anything no mater how large or small the issue may be. Most of the management lawyers want him out of town but not on the Board (but they are chicken to say so).

He would be a disaster on the Board.

Posted by: Stanley Lubin | Jan 28, 2008 10:56:38 AM

We of organized Labor are bracing ourselves for another 5 years of attacks on the backbone of America. We find it truly remarkable that one of the most important pieces of legislation in world history is rapidly being turned into a tool to oppress the very working people it was intended to protect. In 1935 "The Wagner Act" was heralded as "The Magna Carta of the Working Class". As a result of Mr. Battista's leadership the last 5 years have made a mockery of the NLRA. Let us write to our U.S. Senators urging full and fair hearings prior to confirming Battista or Morales. Hats off to the Honorable Dennis P. Walsh who in courageous alliance with Wilma Liebman dared to dissent in 37% of the cases that remove the freedoms and powers from workers that are--in truth--rights bestowed upon all workers at birth.

Eric Gustafson
Member
Iron Workers Local #86
Seattle WA

Posted by: Eric Gustafson | Jan 30, 2008 6:41:06 AM

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