Lewis v. Labor Board,
357 U.S. 10 (1958)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Lewis v. Labor Board, 357 U.S. 10 (1958)

Lewis v. Labor Board

No. 684

Argued May 21, 1958

Decided June 9, 1958

357 U.S. 10


In an unfair labor practice proceeding under the National Labor Relations Act, subpoenas duces tecum and ad testificandum directed to petitioners were issued by the Regional Director under the seal of the Board and the facsimile signature of a member, at the request of the Board's General Counsel. Petitioners moved that the Board revoke the subpoenas; the Board referred the motions to the trial examiner; he denied them; petitioners refused to comply; and the Board sued in the District Court for their enforcement.

Held: the District Court should have ordered compliance with the subpoenas. Pp. 357 U. S. 11-16.

1. The Board's action in referring the motions to the trial examiner was not illegal. Pp. 357 U. S. 12-14.

(a) Under § 11(1) of the Act, the Board's express authority to revoke subpoenas extends only to those "requiring the production of any evidence," not to those requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses. P. 357 U. S. 12.

(b) The Board did not act illegally in delegating to the trial examiner the power to make a preliminary ruling on the motions to revoke the subpoenas duces tecum, since the final decision was reserved to the Board. Labor Board v. Duval Jewelry Co., ante, p. 357 U. S. 1. Pp. 357 U. S. 12-13.

(c) The Board's power under § 6 of the Act "to make . . . such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act" includes the power to make the revocation procedure applicable to subpoenas ad testificandum. P. 357 U. S. 14.

2. Since the issuance of subpoenas by "The Board, or any member thereof" upon application of any party is mandatory under § 11(1), it involves no exercise of discretion, but is a mere ministerial act which the Board may lawfully delegate to its agents. Pp. 357 U. S. 14-15.

3. The General Counsel of the Board is a "party" in an unfair labor practice proceeding, within the meaning of § 11(1), and subpoenas may lawfully be issued upon his request. Pp. 357 U. S. 15-16.

249 F.2d 832, affirmed.

Page 357 U. S. 11

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