Current National Labor Relations Board Chairman Philip Miscimarra has announced he will not accept a new term when his expires in December. So, the search for his replacement is on. Bloomberg BNA is reporting that Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP partner John Ring is the leading candidate for this position.
Update 12/1/17: Bloomberg BNA is now reporting that Ring is the presumptive nominee, subject to background checks.
Republican attorney Marvin Kaplan recently joined the Labor Board following Senate confirmation on August 2, 2017.
His appointment leaves one vacancy on the 5-member Board. President Trump has nominated management-side labor attorney William Emanuel to fill that vacancy. Emanuel is expected to be confirmed after the Senate’s August recess.
Current NLRB members, in addition to Chairman Miscimarra and Member Kaplan, are Democrats Mark Gaston Pearce and Lauren McFerran. Member Pearce’s and Member McFerran’s terms don’t expire until August 27, 2018 and December 16, 2019, respectively.
Impact of a Full NLRB
Assuming the Senate confirms Emanuel as the next NLRB member soon, Republicans will have a 3-2 majority until Miscimarra leaves. If not John Ring, his replacement will be another Republican. If there is a gap between Miscimarra’s departure and the confirmation of his replacement, it will forestall the anticipated shift in NLRB policy.
Although the NLRB can operate with 4 members, the 2-2 Republican-Democrat split will likely prevent the Board from deciding significant, disputed issues.
Once the NLRB does have 3 Republican members, we can expect a sea change in NLRB decisions. Many cases decided by the Obama Board featured Republican Board members in dissent. In addition, the NLRB representation election rules could be under review, as the Obama Board changed them to expedite elections, increasing the likelihood of union victory.
More About John Ring
Attorney John Ring is a partner with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and co-leader of the firm’s labor/management relations practice. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Catholic University and his law degree from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law.