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The Hill
The Hill
5 Jan 2024
Nick Robertson

NextImg:SpaceX in new lawsuit claims NLRB structure violates Constitution

SpaceX sued the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Thursday, claiming the oversight agency’s structure violates the Constitution.

The moves comes after the NLRB filed a complaint against SpaceX on Wednesday, alleging the company unlawfully fired eight employees who drafted and circulated an open letter detailing workplace concerns.

The SpaceX suit describes that complaint as “unlawful,” claiming the NLRB’s structure violates Article 2 of the Constitution and the Fifth and Seventh amendments. The company argues that because only board members and administrative judges can be removed by the president, not all employees, the agency’s structure is unconstitutional.

“The existence of unconstitutional removal protections inflicts twofold harm. It limits the President’s constitutional authority, of course,” the suit reads. “But it also produces an administrative bureaucracy that operates on regulated parties without the constitutionally required ‘degree of electoral accountability.’”

The company also demanded a trial by jury and seeks to dismiss the complaint.

The suit is an unusual move in response to the NLRB complaint, which is scheduled to be heard by an administrative judge, can be appealed to the board, and can later be appealed in federal court.

SpaceX won a similar appeal to a Department of Justice administrative complaint in November, alleging the company refused to hire certain immigrants.