by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Joe Biden, his administration, and many leftist Democrats are law-breaking with their overt pro-union policies and acting unconstitutionally by depriving employers of property rights and
of due process in National Labor Relations Board administrative proceedings. They are also censoring employers’ free speech.
By intervening in labor disputes between coffee shops and their employees, Democrats are expanding the legislative scope of the 1935 National Labor Relations Act. The scope of the 1935 act was limited to “employers involved in interstate commerce.” However, Democrats are acting unilaterally by increasing the power of the administrative state, a clear violation of the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency. In that case, the court said that important questions regarding administrative law must have a clear basis in plain legislative language.
Under the plain language of the 1935 act, the National Labor Relations Board was intended to be a neutral mediator between employers and labor involved in activities with a significant relationship with interstate commerce. Under the Constitution, Congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce. The intent of the 1935 act was to limit and even prevent strikes in sectors of the economy that were essential to the free flow of interstate commerce.
For example, in 1935, the steel industry was critical to the national economy. In the controlling case regarding the constitutionality of the 1935 Labor Act, NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin, the court said that the relevant labor strife “would have an immediate, direct and paralyzing effect upon interstate commerce.” The intent of the 1935 act was not for the NLRB to become involved in labor disputes between the small business on Main Street and the employees of that small business.