Richard Griffin, who served on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) as a recess appointee but whose name was withdrawn as a full-time nominee as part of the recent Senate "nuclear showdown," has re-emerged as nominee for the board's General Counsel (GC) position. At the same time, the nomination of Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon to the same post has been withdrawn.

Griffin, along with former board member Sharon Block, was elevated to the NLRB via a recess appointment on Jan. 4, 2012, but both appointments were later ruled unconstitutional by U.S. appeals courts. In July, when Senate Democrats faced down Senate Republicans over the use of the filibuster to block non-judicial federal appointments, an agreement was reached whereby President Obama would withdraw both Block and Griffin from his 2013 list of five to be appointed to the NLRB, which they were.

Now Griffin has resurfaced as Obama's nominee for NLRB General Counsel, a post Solomon made famous with several controversial proclamations on the use of social media in the workplace.

The GC’s office is ostensibly independent from the Board and is charged with investigating and prosecuting charges of unfair labor practice cases, and also supervising NLRB field offices. It is the GC who decides which cases to pursue and which policies and procedures field agents should follow.

Griffin was an attorney for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), rising to general counsel toward the conclusion of his tenure. He also served on the board of directors for the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee.