Lincoln Union v. Northwestern Co.
335 U.S. 525 (1949)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Lincoln Union v. Northwestern Co., 335 U.S. 525 (1949)

Lincoln Federal Labor Union v. Northwestern Iron & Metal Co.

No. 47

Argued November 8-10, 1948

Decided January 3, 1949*

335 U.S. 525


A Nebraska constitutional amendment and a North Carolina statute provide, in effect, that no person in those States shall be denied an opportunity to obtain or retain employment because he is or is not a member of a labor organization. They also forbid employers to enter into contracts or agreements obligating themselves to exclude persons from employment because they are or are not members of labor unions.

Held: they do not violate rights guaranteed to employers, unions, or members of unions by the Constitution of the United States. Pp. 335 U. S. 527-537.

1. These state laws do not abridge the freedom of speech and the right of unions and their members "peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances," which are guaranteed by the First Amendment and made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 335 U. S. 529-531.

2. Nor do they conflict with Article I, § 10, of the Constitution, insofar as they impair the obligation of contracts made prior to their enactment. Pp. 335 U. S. 531-532.

3. Nor do they deny unions and their members equal protection of the laws contrary to the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 335 U. S. 532-533.

4. Nor do they deprive employers, unions or members of unions of their liberty without due process of law in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 335 U. S. 533-537.

149 Neb. 507, 31 N.W.2d 477, affirmed. 228 N.C. 352, 45 S.E.2d 860, affirmed.

No. 47. In a suit brought by certain labor organizations and the president of one of them for a declaratory judgment and equitable relief, a Nebraska trial court sustained the validity of the so-called "Right-to-Work Amendment" to the Nebraska Constitution, now designated as Art. XV, § 13, 14 and 15, and sustained a demurrer

Page 335 U. S. 526

to the petition. The Supreme Court of Nebraska affirmed. 149 Neb. 507, 31 N.W.2d 477. On appeal to this Court, affirmed, p. 335 U. S. 537.

No. 34. An employer and certain officers and agents of certain labor unions were convicted in a North Carolina state court of violations of N.C.Acts, 1947, ch. 328, N.C.Gen.Stat., ch. 95, Art. 10, for entering into a "closed shop agreement." The Supreme Court of North Carolina affirmed, and sustained the validity of the statute under the Constitution of the United States. 228 N.C. 352, 45 S.E.2d 860. On appeal to this Court, affirmed, p. 335 U. S. 537.

Page 335 U. S. 527

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