Block's NLRB nomination is blocked, Lauren McFerran nominated


Sharon Block never had a chance after the Noel Canning decision. Republican Senators were unhappy that then NLRB Member Sharon Block continued in office even after lower courts had ruled that her recess appointment was constitutionally invalid, and more unhappy after the US Supreme Court's Noel Canning decision confirmed the invalidity of her appointment. She stayed in office until August 2013, and became Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Labor. Anyhow, the President went ahead and nominated her to get back on the Board, and the GOP folks made it clear they would do whatever necessary to prevent Senate confirmation.

After the mid-term elections swept Republicans into control of the Senate, the President backed off, and dropped Block.

The new nominee is Lauren McFerran -- nominated to replace Nancy Jean Schiffer, whose term expires December 16, 2014.

Lauren McFerran is Chief Labor Counsel for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP Committee), a position she has held since 2010.  Since 2012, she has also served as Deputy Staff Director for the HELP Committee.  Ms. McFerran began on the HELP Committee as Senior Labor Counsel for Senator Ted Kennedy and Senator Tom Harkin in 2005, and served in that capacity until 2010.  Before her work for the United States Senate, Ms. McFerran was an Associate at Bredhoff & Kaiser, P.L.L.C. from 2002 to 2005.  From 2001 to 2002, she was a Law Clerk for Chief Judge Carolyn Dineen King on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  Ms. McFerran received a B.A. from Rice University and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

With the Senate's new no-filibuster rule for such nominations, it is possible that the Senate might confirm McFerran before January when the Republicans take over. If not, the NLRB will be in a 2-2 Democrats-Republicans deadlock which will bring to a halt any new groundbreaking decisions.

An easy prediction: Between now and December 16 the Democrat-dominated Board will come out with several 3-2 decisions that will move everything to the left.