President Obama is withdrawing the nomination of Sharon Block to serve on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) amid Republican objections over her previous recess appointment to the panel, the White House announced Wednesday.

Block was one of three members installed to the board during an extended pro forma session of the Senate, a move slammed by GOP lawmakers and eventually the Supreme Court as an abuse of power.


Republicans at the time were filibustering the president's nominees, keeping the NLRB effectively crippled because it lacked the quorum necessary to conduct business.

The White House argued that the pro forma sessions, during which no official business is conducted, are tantamount to a recess, and that Obama should be allowed to make a temporary appointment. But the Supreme Court found the appointments unconstitutional, and criticism has stuck to Block.

Instead, Obama will nominate Lauren McFerran, who has served as chief labor counsel for the Senate Health Committee since 2005.

The switch appears designed to hasten the confirmation of Nancy Schiffer, a Democrat whose term expires in mid-December. If the White House is not able to get a nominee confirmed by Dec. 16, work on the panel, which enforces provisions of the National Labor Relations Act, could grind to the halt, since the two Republicans and two Democrats remaining on the panel are likely to offset votes.