Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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Craig Becker ’78, ’81JD

“I simply cannot allow partisan politics to stand in the way of the basic functioning of government.” So declared President Barack Obama in announcing that he would name Craig Becker ’78, ’81JD, to the National Labor Relations Board via a recess appointment as Congress headed out for Passover/Easter vacation.

The labor board has suffered from “near paralysis” for more than two years, with only two of its five seats filled. For almost a year since Obama nominated Becker—a senior lawyer for the Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO—Senate Republicans have blocked a vote, staging a 33-senator filibuster this February. Last Saturday, the president said he would seat Becker and 14 other appointees (out of a total of 217 pending nominees) who have been hanging fire for an average of roughly seven months.

“The business community should be on red alert for radical changes,” warned the US Chamber of Commerce, anticipating a reversal of the Bush-era NLRB’s anti-union tilt. Another Obama appointee who has been called “radical”—Dawn Johnsen ’83, ’86JD—did not get a recess appointment and continues to await a Senate confirmation vote, nearly 15 months after being nominated to head the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

Filed under milestones, appointed, unions, Law School
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