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Justices to Decide Legality of Two-Person Labor Board

(CN) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to settle contradictory appellate rulings over whether hundreds of opinions issued by two members of the National Labor Relations Board are valid or whether they lacked the three-member quorum.

On May 1, the 7th Circuit and the D.C. Circuit handed down contradictory rulings on the issue, with the D.C. Circuit deciding the board lacked the quorum set by the National Labor Standards Practices Act.

The Chicago-based 7th Circuit found the opposite, ruling that the board can operate with two members if there's a resignation or vacancy in the three-member panel.

The board should have five members, but had been operating with three since 2008, after Democrats in Congress rejected former President George W. Bush's nominations.

When one member's term expired in December 2007, the remaining four members prepared for two more vacancies by delegating their powers to a three-member panel.

The terms of two other members expired, leaving just Chair Wilma Liebman and Peter Schaumber.

In New Process Steel v. NLRB, the high court will decide the validity of opinions issued by the two-member board since Jan. 1, 2008.

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