General Committee v. Missour-Kansas-Texas R. Co.,
320 U.S. 323 (1943)

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U.S. Supreme Court

General Committee v. Missour-Kansas-Texas R. Co., 320 U.S. 323 (1943)

General Committee of Adjustment of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers

for Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad v. Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Co.

No. 23

Argued October 14, 1943

Decided November 22, 1943

320 U.S. 323


Between a labor organization which was the duly designated bargaining representative for the craft of engineers employed by certain carriers, and another which was the duly designated bargaining representative for the craft of firemen employed on the same lines, a dispute arose relative to the calling of men for emergency service as engineers. Efforts to settle the dispute having failed, the matter was submitted to the National Mediation Board, and a mediation agreement between the Firemen and the carriers resulted. The Engineers then brought an action in the federal District Court for a declaratory judgment that the agreement was in violation of the Railway Labor Act and that the Engineers should be declared to be

Page 320 U. S. 324

the sole representative of the craft of engineers, with the exclusive right to bargain for them. The carriers, in their answer, prayed that the court declare the respective rights of the parties. The Firemen, though challenging the jurisdiction of the C.ourt, in the alternative asked that the agreement be declared void. Held, that the issue tendered were not justiciable, and that the District Court was without jurisdiction to resolve the controversy. P. 320 U. S. 327.

1. The case involves no right which, under the Railway Labor Act, is enforceable by the courts, and therefore the action is not one "arising under any law regulating commerce," and not within the original jurisdiction of the District Court under Jud.Code § 24(8). P. 320 U. S. 337.

In view of the pattern of the Railway Labor Act and its history, the command of the Act should be explicit, and the purpose to afford a judicial remedy plain, before an obligation enforceable in the courts should be implied. P. 320 U. S. 337.

2. The District Court was without power to enter a declaratory decree for the benefit of any of the parties. P. 320 U. S. 337.

132 F.2d 91 reversed.

Certiorari, 319 U.S. 736, to review a judgment which modified and affirmed a decree dismissing the complaint in an action for a declaratory judgment.

Page 320 U. S. 325

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