Earlier this week President Obama made three recess National Labor Relations Board NLRB appointments. President Obama appointed Sharon Block, Terence Flynn and Richard Griffin to the board.

The NLRB is a federal administrative agency charged with conducting union representational elections, investigation of unfair labor practices and arbitration of workplace labor disputes which are covered by the National Labor Relations Act.

The President made the appointments after the term of another board member expired at the end of last month, leaving the five member board without a quorum which would have threatened its continued operation.  Earlier last month Senate Republicans sent a letter to President Obama vowing to block all nominations to the NLRB.

Recess appointments are authorized by Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution which allows the president to appointment a senior federal official while the Senate is on recess. The appointee is generally able to serve through the end of the calendar year unless they are later approved by the Senate.