61 Ohio St. L.J. 1361 (2000)
A Quiet Revolution at the Labor Board: The Transformation of the NLRB 1935-2000

handle is hein.journals/ohslj61 and id is 1373 raw text is: A Quiet Revolution at the Labor Board:
The Transformation of the NLRB, 1935-2000
JOAN FLYNN*
As the twentieth century comes to a close, the National Labor Relations Board
has come 180 degrees from its origins in the New Deal era The Congress that
created the Board in 1935 envisioned a body made up wholly of impartial
Government members,  and consistent with this spirit, early Board appointees
were drawn from government or other neutral backgrounds. President
Eisenhower, however, the first Republican President since the passage of the
Labor Act, quickly broke with this tradition and appointed individuals from the
management side to the Board Although such partisan appointments were
originally a source of controversy, over the last half-century they have gradually
become not only accepted, but the norm. Indeed, the two most recent Boards
have consisted of two management and two union lawyers flanking a neutral as
chair and swing vote-the very tripartite model of the agency that had been
explicitly considered and decisively rejected by the Congress that brought the
Board into being.
In this article, Professor Flynn traces the evolution in NLRB appointment
norms and practices from 1935 to today, assesses the impact of the increased
prevalence ofpartisan Board members on NLRB decision-making and attempts
to explain why the partisan appointees of the last ffleen years have, according to
the empirical data; been so much more one-sided in their voting than were their
predecessors from similar backgrounds. She concludes that this marked increase
in partisan voting which has been particularly pronounced during the Clinton
years, is a product of a shif toward greater senatorial control over the
appointments process at the expense of the President. She further concludes that
this shift in the norms governing the NLRB appointments process, which is
reflected most starkly in the rise of 'packaged appointments, is part of a more
general shift in presidential appointment norms. Thus, this article places
contemporary NLRB appointment practices not only in sharp juxtaposition to the
practices that held sway in the Act's early years, but in the context of larger
trends in the political process.
* Assistant Professor of Law, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State
University; formerly, Staff Counsel, Member Charles I. Cohen, National Labor Relations
Board, Washington, D.C. (1994-96), Field Attorney, National Labor Relations Board, Chicago,
Illinois (1989-91). B.A., Grinnell College, 1982; J.D., New York University, 1987. I am
extremely grateful to Kevin Luken for tracking down the vast majority of the source materials
involved in the writing of this article and for his great enthusiasm for the overall project, and to
Roger Bundy for stepping in at the eleventh hour and finishing off the job. Special thanks are
also owed to Mark Gooch, formerly the Government Information Specialist at the Cleveland-
Marshall Law Library, for his invaluable assistance-and persistence-in locating materials for
this article. Finally, my thanks to Alan Weinstein and Deborah Geier for reviewing an earlier
draft of this article, and to the Cleveland-Marshall Fund for providing the financial support for
this project.

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