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National Labor Relations Act Requires NLRB to Maintain Membership of Three

New Process Steel, L.P. v. NLRB, No. 08-1457, concerned an appeal from the Seventh Circuit's denial of petitioners' petition for review of the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) finding that petitioners committed unfair labor practices.  The Court reversed, on the ground that section 3(b) of the National Labor Relations Act requires that a delegee group of the NLRB maintain a membership of three in order to exercise the delegated authority of the Board.

As the Court wrote:  "The Taft-Hartley Act, enacted in 1947, increased the size of the National Labor Relations Board (Board) from three members to five. See 29 U. S. C. §153(a). Concurrent with that change, the Taft-Hartley Act amended §3(b) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to increase the quorum requirement for the Board from two members to three, and to allow the Board to delegate its authority to groups of at least three members. See §153(b). The question in this case is whether, following a delegation of the Board's powers to a three-member group, two members may continue to exercise that delegated authority once the group's (and the Board's) membership falls to two. We hold that two remaining Board members cannot exercise such authority."

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