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Supreme Court hears arguments on two-member labor relations board

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF; merit briefs] Tuesday in New Process Steel v. National Labor Relations Board [oral arguments transcript, PDF; JURIST report] on whether the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) [official website] has the authority to decide cases where only two of the five-member board are present. Section 3(b) of the National Labor Relations Act [29 USC § 153(b)] provides that three members are enough to constitute a quorum of the NLRB. The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit found [opinion, PDF] that the NLRB had acted appropriately and affirmed its decision in full. Counsel for the petitioner, New Process Steel, argued that the "National Labor Relations Act clearly states that at all times, a quorum of the board will be not less than three members." Counsel for the NLRB argued that the plain text of the statute allows for a two-member board in certain circumstances. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] has urged the Court to uphold [JURIST report] all decisions by the two-member board.

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