It’s a new year, there’s a new Congress, and the NAM Legal Center is renewing its efforts to stand up for manufacturers in courtrooms across the country. Coming off a successful 2022, in which it achieved pivotal wins holding the Securities and Exchange Commission accountable to the rule of law and protecting a vital visa program for high-skilled workers, the NAM Legal Center is planning on a similar sweeping defense of the industry in 2023. Here’s what you need to know.
What it is: The NAM Legal Center is the leading voice for manufacturers in the courts. Enlisting the best and brightest legal minds—and funded through voluntary contributions from NAM members—the NAM Legal Center promotes manufacturing interests by reining in regulatory overreach, protecting vital manufacturing policies and priorities and litigating on behalf of impacted manufacturers across the United States.
Why it matters: “When lobbying efforts fall short, and a new rule or statute goes into effect, the last line of defense is the court system,” said NAM Deputy General Counsel for Litigation Erica Klenicki. “We step in to be a forceful advocate on behalf of the industry, fighting difficult fights and working to overturn harmful policies.”
Achievements: The NAM Legal Center has notched a number of critical victories for manufacturers over the past several years, including:
- Halting the SEC’s efforts to indefinitely suspend lawful regulation of proxy advisory firms without any rulemaking process, in a case called NAM vs. SEC;
- Preserving the STEM OPT Program, which provides thousands of highly skilled workers for manufacturers, in Alliance of Technology Workers v. Dep’t of Homeland Security;
- Safeguarding crucial tax fairness rules for exports in NAM vs. Dep’t of the Treasury;
- Defeating unlawful restrictions on critical visa programs in NAM, et al. v. Dep’t of Homeland Security and USCC, NAM, et al. v. Dep’t of Homeland Security;
- Blocking the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s intrusion into chemical regulation in Ass’n of Mfrs. v. CPSC;
- Invalidating an Environmental Protection Agency rule that severely restricted land use by imposing vague and overbroad permitting requirements in American Farm Bureau Federation v. EPA and Georgia v. Wheeler; and
- Overturning a National Labor Relations Board mandate that required employers to prominently post a notice of employee rights in the workplace in NAM v. NLRB.
Coming up: The NAM Legal Center is gearing up to tackle a number of critical issues for manufacturers in 2023, Klenicki says. High on the list are the activist NLRB, the administration’s aggressive environmental, social, and governance agenda and the Federal Trade Commission’s efforts to broadly regulate the labor market.
The last word: “Right now, we’re seeing a significant uptick in executive action, and given the divided Congress, that action is only going to increase over the coming year,” said Klenicki. “We’re prepared to bring litigation as needed to challenge overreaching policies and defend manufacturing competitiveness.”
For more information, or to support the NAM Legal Center’s work, contact Klenicki at [email protected].