(Recasts with decision by Ginsburg)
By Lawrence Hurley
WASHINGTON Feb 4 U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Monday denied a nursing home operator's
emergency stay application that had cited legal confusion over
President Barack Obama's appointments to the National Labor
Ginsburg denied the request filed earlier Monday by
HealthBridge Management LLC, which had wanted the court to
intervene in an employment dispute.
At issue was a preliminary injunction ordering HealthBridge,
which operates nursing homes in Connecticut, to reinstate
striking workers while the National Labor Relations Board
considers the employees' complaint. The almost 700 workers have
cited unfair labor practices.
The company's stay application filed on Monday cited a Jan.
25 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia Circuit, in which the court held that three
appointments Obama made to the NLRB last year were invalid.
The D.C. Circuit court ruling meant that the NLRB does not
have the required quorum to make decisions, casting into doubt
various adjudications made since the appointments were made in
As Ginsburg acted alone and issued no comment on the matter,
the stay denial says little about how the Supreme Court might
rule if the case, which has not yet been before a federal
appeals court, ever does reach the high court.
In its ruling in January, the D.C. Circuit court said the
president did not have the authority to make the three "recess
appointments," a term used to describe a means of circumventing
the Senate confirmation process, because the Senate was not
technically in recess at the time.
HealthBridge still has the option of asking the full court
to consider its stay application. U.S. District Judge Robert N.
Chatigny of the District of Connecticut had issued the
preliminary injunction in December,
In Monday's court filing, HealthBridge's attorney, Paul
Clement, said it was likely the high court will review the D.C.
"It makes little sense for the courts to order immediate
action at the behest of the board here when the board's ability
to act is in profound doubt and will be addressed by this
court," Clement wrote.
(Editing by Howard Goller, Kevin Drawbaugh and Leslie Adler)