Supreme Court to Hear Controversial Noel Canning Decision

UPDATE: Oral arguments on Noel Canning will be heard by the Supreme Court on January 13, 2014.

Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, XpertHR Legal Editor

June 26, 2013

In an expected move, the Supreme Court agreed to review the D.C. Circuit ruling in Noel Canning v. NLRB, No. 12-1115 (D.C. Cir. 2013), which invalidated President Obama's three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) as unconstitutional. The issue the Supreme Court will consider is whether the President had the authority to make the appointments to the NLRB during a time when the Senate was not officially in recess. If the Court finds that the President lacked such authority, hundreds of NLRB decisions could potentially be nullified.

In the earlier Noel Canning decision, the Court invalidated three appointments made in January 2012 and determined that, as a result, the five-member board did not have the required three-member quorum to issue a ruling. Not surprisingly, this ruling left numerous NLRB decisions in limbo and led to numerous legal challenges regarding the NLRB's authority to issue decisions on or after January 4, 2012.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case later this year or early in 2014. XpertHR will continue to follow this developing case and other key HR compliance issues.