Thursday, December 13, 2007
House and Senate Subcommittees have announced witnesses for Thursday's hearing on recent NLRB decisions:
- Robert Battista, Chair, NLRB
- Wilma Liebman, Member, NLRB
- Matt Finkin, Prof., Ill. (photo above)
- Jon Hiatt, General Counsel, AFL-CIO
- Feliza Ryland, Old Star Resort
- Charles Cohen, Partner, Morgan Lewis
The quote of the day, courtesy Workplace Horizons, comes from Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY):
This hearing is a clear effort to politicize the judicial functions of NLRB, and to force that agency to bend to the will of the Democrat majority and its union supporters. Make no mistake, union bosses are directing this assault on judicial independence, and the Majority is willing to comply with their goals at the expense of judicial integrity . . . . Unfortunately, it is clear to me that this hearing is far more about staging partisan political theater than it is about any of the legitimate and responsible uses of Congressional hearing or oversight authority.
Which, of course, demonstrates a regrettable ignorance of how the Board has always worked, and was designed to work. Of course, the posturing cuts both ways -- Democrats who will criticize Battista at the hearing for the Board's pro-management decisions know full well that President Bush appointed him not for his impartiality and "judicial independence," but because Bush knew he would be a reliable pro-management vote. Board members are not judges -- they are political appointees. Pro-union folks have an opportunity to change the Board's tilt, not at Thursday's hearing, but at November's election.
And if that happens, within a couple of years, the Democrats will be lauding an "impartial" Board and the Republicans will be decrying its politicization.