When member Craig Becker's appointment expired this past Dec. 31, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was reduced to two members and thus, according to a Supreme Court ruling, unable to issue rulings. With the U.S. Senate in recess, President Obama used his powers yesterday to make temporary appointments, securing seats for Sharon Block (Democrat), Terence Flynn (Republican), and Richard Griffin (Democrat).

Business groups quickly vowed legal challenges, and unless one or more of those is successful, the appointees will hold their seats until the end of 2013.

The NLRB is now back up to full strength at five members, as the three recess appointees join Chairman Mark Pearce (Democrat) and Brian Hayes (Republican). The board is typically comprised of three members of the party holding the White House and two members of the opposition party, which is exactly the way it currently stands.

The president used another recess appointment to name Richard Cordray as administrator of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Before the end of Becker's term, the NLRB issued new guidelines on union elections and also delayed, at a judge's urging, the imposition of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) Employee Rights Poster mandate, which is now set for April 30.