Loewe v. Lawlor
Annotate this Case
208 U.S. 274 (1908)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Loewe v. Lawlor, 208 U.S. 274 (1908)
Loewe v. Lawlor
Argued December 4, 5, 1907
Decided February 3, 1908
208 U.S. 274
After the Circuit Court of Appeals has certified questions to this court and this court has issued its writ of certiorari requiring the whole record to be sent up, it devolves upon this court under § 6 of the Judiciary Act of 1891, to decide the whole matter in controversy in the same manner as if it had been brought here for review by writ of error or appeal.
The Anti-Trust Act of July 2, 1890, 26 Stat. 209, has a broader application that the prohibition of restraints of trade unlawful at common law.
It prohibits any combination which essentially obstructs the free flow of commerce between the States, or restricts, in that regard, the liberty of a trader to engage in business, and this includes restraints of trade aimed at compelling third parties and strangers involuntarily not to engage in the course of interstate trade except on conditions that the combination imposes.
A combination may be in restraint of interstate trade and within the meaning of the Anti-Trust Act although the persons exercising the restraint may not themselves be engaged in interstate trade, and some of the means employed may be acts within a State and individually beyond the scope of Federal authority, and operate to destroy intrastate trade as interstate trade, but the acts must be considered as a whole, and if the purposes are to prevent interstate transportation, the plan is open to condemnation under the Anti-Trust Act of July 2, 1890. Swift v. United States, 196 U. S. 375.
The Anti-Trust Act of July 2, 1890, makes no distinction between classes. Organizations of farmers and laborers were not exempted from its operation, notwithstanding the efforts which the records of Congress show were made in that direction.
A combination of labor organizations and the members thereof, to compel a manufacturer whose goods are almost entirely sold in other States to unionize his shops and, on his refusal so to do to, boycott his goods and prevent their sale in States other than his own until such time as the resulting damage forces him to comply with their demands is, under the conditions of this case, a combination in restraint of interstate trade or commerce within the meaning of the Anti-Trust Act of July 2, 1890, and the manufacturer may maintain an action for threefold damages under 7 of that act.
The facts are stated in the opinion.