The National Labor Relations Board has been effectively shut down by a controversy over whether it has the legal quorum necessary to act. The board has asked the Supreme Court to step in an resolve the issue, but that apparently will not happen until October at the earliest.

According to a posting on the National Law Review’s website:

Earlier this year, a unanimous three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held that President Barack Obama’s recess appointments of three National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) members exceeded the President’s constitutional authority.  The ruling called into question hundreds of decisions rendered by the NLRB since the recess appointments were made, including decisions affecting non-union workplaces. (Emphasis in original.)

The NLRB has announced that it was bypassing its opportunity to have the case reconsidered by the full D.C. Circuit Court and instead is planning to file an appeal to have the case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.  The NLRB’s petition must be filed with the Supreme Court by April 25, 2013, meaning that it will be unlikely for the Supreme Court to hear the case (assuming it grants the NLRB’s petition) before the Court’s next term begins in October.

NLRB spokeswoman Nancy Cleeland said via email: “ [I]t’s true we’ve said we will file with the Supreme Sourt [by] April 25, but I don’t know what that means for the court’s schedule.”