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The poster ruling: A necessary slap

| Sunday, May 12, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A federal appellate court ruling that struck down the National Labor Relations Board's “poster rule” is a win for business and worker rights. It's also just as big a win for the rule of law — and a necessary rebuke to the Obama administration's disregard for it.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and other business groups challenged the proposed rule. It would have required businesses to display posters informing employees of their right to unionize.

But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the NLRB lacks authority under the National Labor Relations Act to require that businesses display such posters and to treat poster-rule violations as unfair labor practices, as it wanted to do.

The court also faulted the poster rule for compelling speech — because the posters would have said nothing about decertifying unions or avoiding union dues.

Karen Harned, executive director of the NFIB's Small Business Legal Center, called the ruling “a monumental victory for small-business owners ... .” She also said it “reaffirms that the authority of the NLRB is narrow and limited and defined by Congress in the National Labor Relations Act.”

This is a sorely needed reminder for the Obama administration — whose bogus “recess” appointments to the NLRB didn't pass legal muster, either — that it can't run roughshod over the law, even to please the union bosses who pull its strings.

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