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Trump pick John Ring would ensure GOP majority at labor enforcement agency

011218 SHiggins NLRB ring photo
On Friday, President Trump nominated business lawyer John Ring to ensure the National Labor Relations Board will have a majority of Republican appointees. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)

President Trump on Friday nominated business lawyer John Ring to serve on the National Labor Relations Board, the nation's top labor law enforcement agency. If confirmed by the Senate, Ring would serve a five-year term, ensuring that the board had a Republican-appointed majority through at least 2020.

Ring would fill the open seat left behind by former Chairman Philip Miscimarra, who stepped down in December. His confirmation would return the board, currently split evenly between Republican and Democrat appointees, to a 3-2 GOP majority.

The announcement was not a surprise. Ring has been widely rumored by Washington business trade associations to be the Trump administration's top pick for several months. He is co-chairman of the labor/management relations practice at the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Brockius, where he works on labor contracts, multiemployer benefit funds, and corporate restructurings.

The board achieved a reputation for pro-union activism during the Obama administration, which the Trump White House and congressional Republicans have been eager to reverse. Last year, the Senate confirmed three other Trump picks to the board: former GOP House staffer Marvin Kaplan to an open seat, business lawyer Bill Emanuel to another open seat, and private sector lawyer Peter Robb as the board's general counsel. Trump named Kaplan the chairman after Miscimarra stepped down.

A 2015 post on the Morgan Lewis website touted Ring as being able to help clients with an "activist" NLRB.