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Labor, Consumer Finance Rulings May Be Invalid, Republican Says

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Senator Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, said hundreds of U.S. labor rulings may be invalid due to a court decision that found President Barack Obama’s appointments to the National Labor Relations Board are unconstitutional.

Corker, interviewed on “Fox News Sunday,” yesterday said that in each case individuals may have to challenge the rulings. Corker, one of 42 Republican senators who challenged the president’s recess appointments in court, said rulings by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau may also be thrown out because its director, Richard Cordray, was appointed without Senate approval.

“There’s no question that what happened with the NLRB and Richard Cordray, that was abusive,” Corker said. “These people just never had a hearing.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington on Jan. 25 sided with Republican lawmakers in a unanimous opinion, which held that Obama’s recess appointments to the labor board last year, made after Republicans refused to consider his nominees, were “constitutionally invalid” because the Senate wasn’t in recess at the time.

Corker, who said the decision will probably be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, called the ruling “very far reaching” and said it knocks down decades of action by presidents.

The White House said the ruling won’t affect Cordray and is restricted to the company at issue. Republicans, meanwhile, have demanded the NLRB appointees quit immediately.

Senator Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat appearing on the same show, said that the appointments were the result of Senate obstruction. He said he hoped that Senate rules approved last week would allow more nominees to receive hearings and votes.

“We have seen this president denied the opportunity to make appointments over and over and over again because one senator happens to hate a particular agency or a particular person,” Durbin said. “For goodness sakes, in fairness, give them a hearing, give them the vote, let’s get on with it.”

The case is Noel Canning v. National Labor Relations Board, 12-1115, 12-1153, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at tschoenberg@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net.

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